West Ham to inaugurate new stadium with friendly against Serie A giants

West Ham will move from Upton Park to the new Olympic Stadium next summer and the Hammers’ first fixture will be a friendly against Serie A champions Juventus.

They will host the Old Lady a week before the 2016/2017 Premier League season starts, on Sunday, August 7, following a ceremony to celebrate the inaugural match at the ground in Stratford. Both teams have never met previously, either in European competition or in friendly games.

The joint-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold told the club’s website: “We are delighted to be marking such a monumental day in West Ham United’s history by welcoming one of the world’s biggest clubs to our fantastic new home.

“It was always our intention to open the new 60,000-capacity stadium on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a fixture fitting of the occasion, and the visit of the reigning Italian champions Juventus is most certainly that.”

Speaking to Sky Sports, West Ham midfielder Mark Noble said: “It’s amazing. Juventus is a club full of history and I think it suits the stadium that our first game here will be against them.

West Ham have two league matches remaining at the Boleyn Ground, their home for the past 112 years. The first is against Swansea on May 7, before hosting Manchester United three days later.

The Hammers are currently ranked sixth in the Premier League standings, eight points away from the Champions League positions with four matches remaining and having played one game less than Manchester City and Arsenal.

Behind the Hammers, Liverpool and Southampton are closing in with Jurgen Klopp’s side one point behind and Southampton only two points down from Slaven Bilic’s men.

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