Our prediction for this Europa League match:
All eyes will be on Stadion Maksimir when Dinamo Zagreb and West Ham United face each other in the Europa League derby. Dinamo Zagreb failed to impress in the Champions League playoffs, with the team losing to Moldovan side Sheriff in the two-legged tie, and, it is no wonder the bookies see them as underdogs in Thursday’s clash. Fit-again North Macedonia international Ademi is pushing for a start, while both Mislav Orsic and Rasmus Lauritsen have recovered from their respective injuries.
The Hammers, on the other hand, have been producing fine displays at the start of the new Premier League campaign, and seeing that David Moyes can count on key players for the Europa League opener, away win should be considered. Summer signing Kurt Zouma should sneak into the starting Xi, as well as Ukraine international Andriy Yarmolenko.
Highlighted Player (Kévin Théophile-Catherine):
Born in Saint-Brieuc, France, on October 28, 1989, Kevin Theophile-Catherine is a defender who plays for Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb. Theophile-Catherine started his youth career at Rennes and he continued playing for les Rouges et Noirs at senior level.
After scoring two goals in 98 appearances for the club from 2009 to 2013, he moved to Cardiff City in the 2013/2014 season, signing a four-year contract with the Bluebirds. After ending his loan spell with Saint-Etienne, he signed a permanent deal with les Verts in 2015 for a fee of £1.5 million.
The Dinamo Zagreb footballer has one cap with France U21 team, while making four appearances for the U20 team. His main position is centre-back, but he is capable of playing as both right and left back as well. His preferred foot is right and his contract with Dinamo Zagreb should expire on June 30, 2020. Theophile-Catherine made his debut for Dinamo Zagreb in a 2-1 win over Osijek on August 17, 2018.
Highlighted Team (West Ham):
West Ham United are an English football club based in East London. The club was founded in 1895 and it has to be noted that the club’s name was Thames Ironworks back then. The Hammers were playing their home games at Upton Park from 1904 until 2016, when they moved to the Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
West Ham have won three FA Cup trophies (1964, 1975 and 1980) and they were runners-up in 1923 and 2006. The capital club finished the 1985/1986 England first division campaign in third place in the standings and that is the club’s highest placing in the top flight. West Ham United have strong rivalries with fellow London clubs, but Tottenham Hotspur are considered the club’s main rivals.
A number of top-class players were part of West Ham in the past and the likes of Joe Cole, Carlos Tevez, Paolo Di Canio, Paul Ince, Julian Dicks, Shaka Hislop, Michael Carrick and Slaven Bilic are some of them.