West Ham Team News vs Dinamo Zagreb: Johnson, Cresswell, Zouma


The Hammers welcome Dinamo Zagreb to the Olympic Stadium in London on the final matchday for the group stage of the UEFA Europa League. West Ham has had one of their best-ever European performances of the modern era thus far. They are both undefeated and assured of the top spot in their group heading into this final fixture.

The reverse fixture on matchday one between these two sides is the only time they have experienced a competitive fixture. That night saw West Ham take all three points, in a 2-0 victory, with goals from Michail Antonio and Declan Rice on either side of halftime.

A win here would see West Ham record three home European wins in a single season for the first time in over 40 years. You’d forgive Irons fans for being optimistic, as Zagreb have won only once in their last five games.

West Ham vs Dinamo Zagreb FYIs:

Kick-off time: 8  PM GMT, 9th December 2021

West Ham Starting XI Prediction: go here

Form Guide (All Competitions): West Ham (LWLDW)  Dinamo Zagreb (DDWLL)

Here’s the team news from East London as we head into this one.

The Hammers had a blessed run in the pre-Christmas period of the Premier League with minimum injuries. Ever since Italian center-half Angelo Ogbonna went down with an ACL injury against Liverpool though, things have gotten slightly worse for West Ham.

Aaron Cresswell is still nursing a back complaint after colliding with the goal post. He is expected to be back and available for selection in time for West Ham’s next Premier League fixture against Burnley. No point risking him here in this dead rubber.

Kurt Zouma was taken off injured in the incredible victory over his former team, Chelsea. Though he made it out for the second half, he still succumbed to a knee injury and had to be taken off 20 minutes into the second stanza. The Frenchman seems doubtful for this one.

Full-back Ben Johnson was also struck by injury in the East vs West London derby. He pulled up lame with an apparent hamstring injury in the first half against the Blues.

Johnson is unlikely to play here.

David Moyes bemoaned somewhat of an injury crisis in his defensive unit when asked about Johnson’s fitness, following the victory against their rivals this past weekend.

“Ben looked as if he has pulled his hamstring a little bit. I need to get players back, Ryan Frederick’s needs to come back, Aaron Cresswell and as you well know we don’t have Angelo Ogbonna for a while because of his ACL.”

A second-string Hammers’ side might struggle against a Zagreb outfit that needs to win in order to secure passage to the knockout phase of the Europa League.

I’m picking an upset victory to the away side.

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