MX23RW : Wednesday, September 22 09:42:08| >> :600:432702:432702:
Sep 16, 2021 at 5.45pm UK at Stadion Maksimir
Dinamo ZagrebDinamo Zagreb
West HamWest Ham United

Misic (67')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Antonio (22'), Rice (50')
Lanzini (32')

Preview: Dinamo Zagreb vs. West Ham United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Dinamo Zagreb and West Ham United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

West Ham United will kick off their Europa League campaign on Thursday, as they make the trip to Croatia to take on Dinamo Zagreb.

The Hammers achieved automatic qualification after finishing sixth in the Premier League last season, while their hosts fell short in the qualifying rounds for the Champions League

Match preview

West Ham United manager David Moyes on September 11, 2021© Reuters

After winning the Croatian top flight for the fourth straight season last time around, earning 85 points from 36 outings, Dinamo Zagreb booked their place in Champions League Qualifying, and they started well in the first round.

They met Icelandic side Valur Reykjavik and cruised through with a 5-2 aggregate win, before comfortably defeating Cypriot champions Omonia 3-0 over two legs to reach the third round.

A Bartol Franjic goal then fired them to a 1-0 away win over Legia Warsaw, sealing a 2-1 aggregate win and putting them one two-legged affair away from the group stage, but Damir Krznar's side would miss out.

The Modri met Moldovan champions Sheriff in the playoff round, and they were unable to overturn a 3-0 deficit from the away leg as the second leg ended goalless.

As a result, they dropped into the Europa League group stage, and will look to build on a strong start to the domestic season, having collected 16 points from their opening seven games, with what would be an impressive opening victory.

They will also hope to replicate last season's showing in the Europa League, as they staged an eye-catching comeback against Tottenham Hotspur to seal a 3-2 aggregate victory after a 2-0 away defeat, reaching the quarter-final before they were knocked out by eventual winners Villarreal.

Dinamo Zagreb's Mislav Orsic celebrates scoring against Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League on March 18, 2021© Reuters

West Ham arrive to play competitive football in Europe for the first time since the 2016-17 season, when they lost 2-1 to Astra Giurgiu in the Europa League playoff round.

The London side did not have to go through qualifying this time around though, as their sixth-placed finish in the Premier League saw them earn automatic progression to this year's competition.

David Moyes's men defied the odds to collect 65 points last season, pipping Tottenham Hotspur to sixth spot, and they began the new domestic season in style.

Goals from Aaron Cresswell, Said Benrahma, Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio fired the Irons to a 4-2 away win over Newcastle United on the opening day, before they comfortably defeated last season's fifth-placed side Leicester City, with Antonio hitting a brace alongside goals from Pablo Fornals and Benrahma in a dominant 4-1 victory.

Moyes's side now come into Thursday's game on the back of consecutive draws, most recently playing out a stalemate with Southampton, and they will hope to mark their return to continental football with an away victory.

Dinamo Zagreb form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W

West Ham United form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D

Team News

West Ham United's Michail Antonio celebrates scoring their second goal against Crystal Palace on August 28, 2021© Reuters

Dinamo Zagreb are expected to remain without first-choice goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, who missed out at the weekend, with Danijel Zagorac potentially set to deputise.

Forward Mario Gavranovic and defender Dino Peric will miss out, while captain Arijan Ademi recently returned to action and will lead his side on Thursday.

West Ham United forward Michael Antonio was sent off at the weekend, but he will be available to play in Croatia, with the suspension instead carrying over to the Premier League.

While they have very few injury issues, Moyes could take the opportunity to rotate his squad, with summer signings Alphonse Areola, Kurt Zouma and Alex Kral set to be handed first starts.

Croatian attacking midfielder Nikola Vlasic is also set to be handed his full debut on home soil, giving Benrahma a brief rest before their return to league action at the weekend.

Dinamo Zagreb possible starting lineup:
Zagorac; Lauritsen, Sutalo, Theopile-Catherine; Ristovski, Ademi, Misic, Franjic; Orsic, Petkovic, Ivanusec

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Areola; Fredericks, Zouma, Ogbonna, Johnson; Kral, Noble; Yarmolenko, Vlasic, Bowen; Antonio

SM words green background

We say: Dinamo Zagreb 1-1 West Ham United

In what should certainly be a closely-fought encounter, we see Thursday's game finishing level in a result that will be relatively pleasing to both sides.

The firepower of West Ham's front line should see them escape with a result, despite Moyes potentially calling on several squad players.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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