Prediction and odds for the game: Dinamo Zagreb (21/10) vs West Ham (5/4)
We are backing the draw at odds of 12/5
When: Thursday, 16th September 2021, Kick-off 17:45
Where: Stadion Maksimir
On Thursday evening, Premier League West Ham kick-off their Europa League campaign with a visit to Dinamo Zagreb in Group H of the competition.
The team from the Croatian capital are regular in European competitions. The home team kicked off the season in the Champions League. However, they exited the competition at the play-off stage, suffering a 3-0 aggregate defeat against Moldovan outfit Sheriff.
Dinamo have a real recent pedigree in this competition, having made it to the last eight of the Europa League last season. Their impressive run came to an end against eventual winners Villarreal. Despite that impressive run of form in the competition, the home side has lost three of their last four matches in the Europa League. They did have enough to see off West Ham’s London rivals Tottenham over two legs last season in the last-16 of the competition.
Dinamo Zagreb have been difficult to beat on home soil of late in the Europa League, as they have lost just one of their last 15 home matches in the competition. Villarreal’s 1-0 win in their last home game in the competition ended a 14-game unbeaten streak.
The Hammers have looked impressive under the tutelage of the experienced David Moyes. Last season the visitors surprised many by finishing in the Premier League’s top-six, earning them a place in the Europa League. The Irons are unbeaten in the Premier League so far this season. However, they have now drawn their last two outings in the English top-flight.
Unlike their hosts, West Ham have not featured regularly in European action of late. Their last furore into the Europa League was in 2016 when they suffered a 2-1 aggregate defeat against Romanian team Astra in the competition’s play-offs.
The Hammers have a poor recent record in the Europa League, winning just one of their last six matches in the competition while suffering three defeats in the process.
The visitors have also failed to win in their last three away games in the competition, suffering two defeats in the process. It may be important to note that all three of those winless games came in Eastern Europe.
Dinamo Zagreb are formidable opposition on their own ground, while West Ham have struggled on their travels in the past in Europe. We fancy that there may not be much between these two teams, so we are backing the draw. Both teams are exciting in attack and it could be an entertaining game, so we are also backing over 2.5 goals scored.
Our Tips: We are backing the draw at odds of 12/5 and/or over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 10/11. (All bets are taken from Bet365).
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Can Dinamo Zagreb maintain their excellent home record against the Hammers?