Dinamo vs. West Ham
West Ham United will begin their Europa League campaign on Thursday, when they travel to Croatia to face Dinamo Zagreb.
The Hammers earned automatic qualification after finishing sixth in the Premier League last season, while their hosts were eliminated in the Champions League qualifying rounds.
Goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic is doubtful due to injury after missing the weekend game, with 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 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 are expected to return.
With a fully fit squad to choose from, David Moyes is likely to rotate after fielding an unchanged starting XI in each of the league’s first four games.
New signings Alphonse Areola and Kurt Zouma are expected to arrive, and Nikola Vlasic could make his home debut.
Michail Antonio would have been rested, but now that he is suspended for the match against Manchester United this weekend, he may well start again.
Dinamo Zagreb will face English and indeed London opposition for the first time since a memorable comeback victory over Tottenham in the round of 16 last season, when they overcame a 2-0 away defeat with a remarkable 3-0 home win courtesy of a Mislav Orsic hat-trick.
West Ham may reshuffle their deck after looking a little leggy against Southampton last weekend, but Moyes will be confident in the squad depth he has built after a productive transfer window.
Following a shock defeat in Champions League qualifying to Moldovan outfit FC Sheriff, the hosts will expect to compete in this competition, having reached the quarter-finals last year, and will hope that home advantage is sufficient.
We see Thursday’s game finishing level in a result that will be relatively pleasing to both sides in what should undoubtedly be a closely fought encounter.
Despite the fact that Moyes may call on several squad players, West Ham’s front line should be able to escape with a result.
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
Our Prediction: Dinamo Zagreb 1-1 West Ham United