West Ham United will travel to Croatia to face Dinamo Zagreb where they begin their Europa League campaign on Thursday. So, as we start the new 2021-22 European season, here is anticipatory Europa League football news – Dinamo vs West Ham.
The Hammers earned automatic qualification after finishing sixth in the Premier League last season.
On the other hand. their hosts suffered an elimination in the Champions League early, in the qualifying rounds.
- Goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic is doubtful after missing the weekend game due to injury, with a replacement, Danijel Zagorac, on standby.
- With Dino Peric out, youngster Josip Sutalo could take the place of new signing Emir Dilaver at the back.
- Captain Arijan Ademi made a timely comeback from injury on the bench over the weekend. And the captain should be ready to start in the Dinamo engine room.
- Wing-backs Bartol Franjic and Stefan Ristovski were absent from the weekend’s victory but they will probably return here.
Dinamo Zagreb possible starting lineup: Zagorac; Lauritsen, Sutalo, Theopile-Catherine; Ristovski, Ademi, Misic, Franjic; Orsic, Petkovic, Ivanusec
- David Moyes has fielded an unchanged starting XI in each of the league’s first four games. But now, with a fully fit squad to choose from, he is likely to rotate his roster here.
- This means that new signings Alphonse Areola and Kurt Zouma may arrive, and Nikola Vlasic could make his home debut.
- Had Michail Antonio not been under suspension for the match against Manchester United this weekend, he would be resting here. But, with no other imminent match coming up for him, Antonio (football news) may well start again.
West Ham United possible starting lineup: Areola; Fredericks, Zouma, Ogbonna, Johnson; Kral, Noble; Yarmolenko, Vlasic, Bowen; Antonio
Europa League Football News – Dinamo vs West Ham
- Dinamo Zagreb will face English and indeed London opposition for the first time since a memorable comeback victory over Tottenham. That was in the round of 16 last season, when they somehow overcame a 2-0 away defeat. They did so after a remarkable 3-0 home win courtesy of a Mislav Orsic hat-trick.
- On the other side, West Ham may reshuffle their deck after looking a little leggy against Southampton last weekend. However, Moyes will be confident in the squad depth he has built after a productive transfer window.
- Following a shock defeat to Moldovan outfit FC Sheriff in Champions League qualifications, the hosts will compete in this competition. They did reach the quarter-finals last year, and will hope that home advantage is sufficient for them here, in Group H.
We see Thursday’s result, after an undoubtedly closely-fought encounter, to be one that will be relatively pleasing to both sides.
Although Moyes may call on several squad players, West Ham’s front line should be able to escape with a result.