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

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

West Ham United will look to wrap up the group stage of the Europa League in style on Thursday when they host Dinamo Zagreb, having the chance to finish undefeated.

While the Hammers have already secured qualification to the next round, a defeat could knock the visitors out, adding plenty of pressure onto this fixture.


Match preview

West Ham United's Declan Rice pictured on October 24, 2021© Reuters

West Ham United have relished playing in Europe this season, having been undefeated after the first five games, with qualification and the top spot getting wrapped up in the process.

The Hammers have only dropped points once in the competition which took place away at Genk when they shared the spoils with a 2-2 draw, but other than that they have been dominant.

Four wins earned them a place in the next stage, allowing their European journey to continue, meanwhile, the squad have continued their high level of performances in the Premier League.

David Moyes is keen to guide his team back into European competition next season and they head into Thursday's match on the back of defeating Chelsea.

West Ham had to come from behind twice against the Blues in order to take all three points, with an 87th-minute goal from Arthur Masuaku securing the result.

West Ham United's Declan Rice scores against Dinamo Zagreb on September 16, 2021© Reuters

On the other hand Dinamo Zagreb have only won once in their previous six fixtures across all competitions, meaning they head into this particular game with a lack of confidence.

Zeljko Kopic's team have lost consecutively as they prepare for what could be a crucial European fixture as the need for points is high.

While they currently sit second in Group H, if Genk are able to secure a victory in their game, it would mean Dinamo Zagreb have to get at least a draw.

There is only two points separating the two teams right now and a victory would guarantee their qualification, although finishing top of the table is impossible.

They last faced West Ham on the opening game of the group and the Hammers were able to secure a comfortable 2-0 victory with goals from Michail Antonio and Declan Rice.

Therefore Dinamo Zagreb will need an improved performance this time around if they want to maintain their Europa League status this season without having to rely on other results.

West Ham United Europa League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

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

Dinamo Zagreb Europa League form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D

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



Team News

West Ham United's Kurt Zouma pictured on September 19, 2021© Reuters

West Ham United were able to take three points away from Chelsea at the weekend, but they also had to deal with a couple of defensive injuries.

Both Kurt Zouma and Ben Johnson had to be replaced during the Premier League fixture and it is unlikely that either man will be fit enough to feature on Thursday.

This will likely lead to another opportunity for Saturday's match-winner Masuaka while Moyes might end up offering rests to other key players due to their qualification already being secured.

Aaron Creswell is another player that is not available for the Hammers due to a back injury, although he is set to return at the weekend against Manchester City.

On the other hand, the visitors head into this match fresh without any major fitness concerns, which will provide plenty of options for this important fixture.

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Dawson, Diop, Masuaka, Coufal; Noble, Rice, Benrahma;Lanzini, Bowen; Antonio

Dinamo Zagreb possible starting lineup:
Livakovic; Moharrami, Sutalo, Theophile-Catherine, Stefulj; Ademi, Misic; Menalo, Ivanusec, Orisic; Petkovic


SM words green background

We say: West Ham United 2-1 Dinamo Zagreb

Even though West Ham United have already qualified for the next round, the squad will still be keen to win this and finish the group stage undefeated.

Coming off a strong Premier League victory, the Hammers should have enough quality and confidence to see them through, even though it will be a tough test.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: West Ham vs Dinamo Zagreb

West Ham United
78.4%
Draw
13.6%
Dinamo Zagreb
8.0%
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West Ham United manager David Moyes pictured on February 27, 2021
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Tables
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1Manchester CityMan City22182254134156
2Liverpool21136255183745
3Chelsea23128346182844
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham22114741301137
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1911352622436
6Arsenal2011273325835
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd2110563530535
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves209471715231
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2161142222029
10Leicester CityLeicester197483336-325
11Crystal Palace215973031-124
12Southampton215972533-824
13Aston Villa2072112732-523
14Brentford2265112536-1123
15Leeds UnitedLeeds205782439-1522
16Everton1954102434-1019
17Norwich CityNorwich2244141345-3216
18Watford2042142340-1714
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2019102043-2312
20Burnley171881627-1111

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