Dinamo Zagreb welcome West Ham to Stadion Maksimir as both teams look to kick their 2021-22 UEFA Europa League campaign off with victory in Group H.
Victory will see either team go top of Group H if they better Rapid Wien’s result against Genk elsewhere.
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Dominik Livakovic is a doubt for Dinamo Zagreb due to an unspecified injury, which forced the 26 year-old Croatian goalkeeper to miss their win over Sibenik at the weekend.
Mario Gavranovic (unspecified) and Dino Peric (knee) are ruled out.
West Ham will have Michail Antonio available because his suspension only applies to domestic matches, following his red card in Saturday’s goalless draw at Southampton on Saturday.
Winston Reid (knee) remains absent as manager, David Moyes prepares to rotate his squad with Alphonse Areola and Kurt Zouma amongst those chasing starts.
This is Dinamo Zagreb’s first-ever meeting against West Ham in all UEFA competitions.
Dinamo Zagreb have lost three of their last five home matches against English opposition in all UEFA competitions (W2, L3), with both home wins coming against London-based clubs.
West Ham won their only previous away clash against Croatian opposition in UEFA competitions, defeating Osijek 3-1 in September 1999.
Zagreb have kept just two clean sheets in four home matches in Qualifying rounds this season (W2, D2).
Eight of West Ham’s ten goals in all competitions so far this season have come from the trio of Michail Antonio (4), Pablo Fornals (2) and Said Benrahma (2).
Having missed out on a spot in this season’s Champions League Group Stage, Dinamo Zagreb are a team who cannot be underestimated especially after last season’s shock home win over Tottenham in the second leg of Last 16 tie after trailing 2-0 from the first leg.
West Ham come into this match still unbeaten and will be buoyed by their first clean sheet of the season at Southampton last Saturday, although I do expect that they will be eager to get back to their goal-scoring ways if can deliver more end product than they managed at St Mary’s.
This game therefore should certainly be competitive because I can see both teams really bringing game plans which will trouble one-another if aren’t careful, although Zagreb’s superior experience could be the difference.
Prediction: Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 West Ham