Sunday, October 24, 2021

Prediction: West Ham vs Rapid Vienna

Verdict: West Ham to score in both halves

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to lay down another marker when they turn their attention back to Europa League duties on Thursday night, West Ham will welcome Rapid Vienna to the London Stadium.

West Ham

Starting with the hosts, while West Ham would have been left heartbroken by their last-gasp defeat against Manchester United earlier in the month, it appears that was just a minor blip for the Hammers. Only continuing to gain a string of plaudits from across the Premier League over the past 12 months, David Moyes’ side find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high. Extending on their EFL Cup adventure with an impressive 1-0 win at Old Trafford last week, the one-time Everton boss once again saw his side show their resolve on Saturday afternoon. Mounting an eye-catching comeback away at Elland Road over the weekend, West Ham came from 1-0 down to snatch an injury-time winner against Leeds. With attacking talisman Michail Antonio continuing on his own free-scoring run since opening the 2021/22 campaign, the east London outfit also laid down a real Europa League marker a fortnight ago. Making the trip out to a rugged Dinamo Zagreb side, Moyes’ men landed a deserved 2-0 victory on foreign soil.

Team News

Expected to make a host of changes in midweek, the likes of Alex Kral, Mark Noble, Issa Diop, Craig Dawson, and Ben Johnson are expected to come in on Thursday night.

However, with right-back Ryan Fredricks suffering an injury against Manchester United last week, Vladimír Coufal should once again start in David Moyes’ defence.

Rapid Vienna

As for the visitors, while West Ham might be enjoying an extended purple patch, the same cannot be said for a downbeat Rapid Vienna side. In the midst of what is becoming a real crisis, the former Austrian champions were last seen over the weekend putting in another dreadful display. Firmly battling it out at the foot of the Bundesliga table, Die Grün-Weißen were blown away thanks to a 3-0 drumming against Sturm Graz on home soil. With the pressure really starting to mount on Head Coach Dietmar Kühbauer, a hard-fought Cup victory against Admira last week appears to just be a minor boost for Vienna. Opening their Europa League adventure with a 1-0 loss against Genk at the Allianz Stadion a fortnight ago, Thursday’s guests have lost four of their last five matchups across all formats. With just a single win to their name over the past five weeks, there is no doubt that Kühbauer’s strugglers face a stern test in east London here.

Team News

Dealing with a real injury crisis, Thursday’s guests will be without the likes of Christopher Dibon, Richard Strebinger, Oliver Strunz and Lion Schuster.

Key Factors to Consider

    • West Ham opened their Europa League campaign with a deserved 2-0 victory away at Dinamo Zagreb.
    • Likewise, the Hammers have lost just a single competitive matchup since opening the 2021/22 season.
    • Including a 3-0 drumming against Sturm Graz over the weekend, Rapid Vienna have lost four of their last five matchups across all formats.
    • Thursday’s guests have also failed to win any of their last six contests within 90 minutes, a run that stems over the past five weeks.
    • West Ham striker Michail Antonio has recorded six goals across all formats so far this season.

    Conclusion

    Managing to mount that stunning comeback at Elland Road over the weekend, there is no doubt that West Ham should be smelling a golden chance here. Opening their Europa League adventure with what was a dominant display in their 2-0 win against Dinamo Zagreb a fortnight ago, the Hammers are in the midst of a real purple patch. With attacking talisman Michail Antonio already bagging six goals so far this season, David Moyes’ men will be looking to cash in on a downbeat Rapid Vienna side. Hit with a 3-0 drumming at home against Sturm Graz last time out, Thursday’s guests are enduring a real crisis. Losing four of their last five matchups across all formats, it is hard to see anything other than a routine home victory for West Ham in midweek.

    Verdict: West Ham to score in both halves

    Best Odds: 1/1

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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