West Ham United begin their Europa League group stage campaign with a trip to Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday at 5:45pm (UK time).
The Hammers are making their first appearance in European competition since 2017 after finishing sixth in the Premier League last season.
How to live stream Dinamo Zagreb vs West Ham online:
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Where to watch Dinamo Zagreb vs West Ham on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 2
- US: Paramount+
Scoreline prediction: Dinamo Zagreb 1-2 West Ham
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Dinamo Zagreb vs West Ham build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Dinamo Zagreb have won 15 of the last 16 Croatian league titles and although it’s only on goal difference, they’re top of the table once again after seven games this season. Though they’ve rarely gone far in European competition over recent years, Zagreb will undoubtedly provide a robust test of West Ham’s credentials with a hostile atmosphere.
The Hammers have made a solid start to the new Premier League season, winning two and drawing two of their opening four games to maintain an unbeaten record. Their return to Europe has been long-awaited and highly anticipated among supporters and there will be an expectation on David Moyes to put his side’s best foot forward in this competition.
- Dinamo Zagreb (vs Sibenik): Zagorac; Dilaver, Theophile-Catherine, Sutalo, Moubandje; Spikic, Tolic, Misic, Ivanusec; Juric, Petkovic.
- West Ham (vs Southampton): Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals; Antonio.
Goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic sat out Zagreb’s league match at the weekend and remains a doubt here. Dino Peric and Mario Gavranovic are both sidelined.
Moyes has a fully fit squad to choose from. Michail Antonio will likely start as he’s suspended for West Ham’s Premier League clash with Man Utd this weekend. Alphonse Areola could make his debut in goal.
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David Moyes: International experience will be key in Europa League
It’s been a while since West Ham’s last venture into Europe and given the anticipation from supporters around this campaign, it’s safe to say they’ll be wanting to do a little better than last time. In both 2015/16 and 2016/17, the Hammers were sent crashing out by Romanian side Astra, first in the third qualifying round, then in the playoff round.
Many of the players in the current West Ham squad have never played European football. However, Declan Rice was a key part of the England team that went all the way to the final at Euro 2020 in the summer, while the likes of Nikola Vlasic and Kurt Zouma have extensive experience in continental competition.
And Moyes believes it’s this core group of players who can do the heavy lifting for those without European experience, with their know-how at this level providing the Hammers with an edge.
“We have got some players with international experience, players who have played in different countries and because of that, I think it will give us a chance,” Moyes said of the prospect of playing in Europe recently. “Ultimately, it’s a new experience for us at West Ham, not completely but in recent times, and hopefully we’re able to deal with it.”
On Dinamo Zagreb, he added: “I wouldn’t say it’s going to be our toughest game but it’s certainly a really tough game going to Zagreb. They’ve got a pretty good European history over many years and have been a big club so I don’t think it’s going to be easy.”
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