Our prediction for this Europa League match:
West Ham will look to cement top position in Group H when they take on Dinamo Zagreb in London on Thursday evening. The Hammers have already booked their place in the Europa League knockout stages, but they surely want to finish the process in style. Masuaku should replace injured defender Johnson in the starting XI, with both Fornals and Benrahma pushing for a start as well.
Dinamo Zagreb, on the other hand, are eager to retain second position in the standings. Since both sides would be happy with one point from the match, we are tempted to put our money on draw. Keep in mind, though, that the Croatian champions are low on spirits following a heart-breaking loss to Hajduk Split in the HNL derby. Australia international Deni Juric remains in the recovery room for the visitors.
Highlighted Player (Winston Reid):
Despite playing for Denmark youth teams in the past, Winston Reid decided to represent New Zealand at senior level. The prolific defender spent his youth career at Danish clubs Sonderborg and Midtjylland and he made his first appearance for the Midtjylland first team in the Royal League tournament against Valerenga. Winston Reid was making progress year by year and he was on West Ham’s radar during the 2009/2010 season.
In the summer of 2010 (August) Reid signed a three-year deal with the Hammers and he made his Premier League debut in a 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa on August 14, 2010. However, the New Zealand defender made no more than 12 appearances for West Ham United in his first season for the capital club.
To make things even worse for him, at the end of the 2010/2011 Premier League campaign the Hammers dropped to the Championship. You should bear in mind that Winston Reid played three games for New Zealand at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and he scored a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Slovakia.
Highlighted Team (Dinamo Zagreb):
Arguably the biggest club in Croatia and one of the most prominent football outfits in the Balkan region, Dinamo Zagreb have won 18 league titles, 11 of which came successively. Dinamo Zagreb have never been relegated to a lower tier of both Croatian and Yugoslav football.
Modri as they are called in Croatia are renowned for their impressive production line of youth footballers. Their highly organised football academy has so far produced world-class players such as Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Marko Pjaca and many others. Dinamo Zagreb play their home matches at the Stadion Maksimir in front of 35,000 people.
The club lacked support during the last couple of seasons due to fans’ disagreement with club management, most notably notorious Zdravko Mamic, who is under investigation for long-lasting corruption, tax evasion and embezzlement. For the first time since 2015, Dinamo Zagreb will have the full support of their most faithful supporters in the Champions League.