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West Ham United v SK Rapid Wien – UEFA Europa League – London Stadium – Thursday (8pm) – Preview
Brian Dear firmly believes that West Ham United will take another positive step towards UEFA Europa League progress when Austrian outfit, SK Rapid Wien visit the London Stadium on Thursday evening.
The Hammers complimented their impressive domestic form by seeing off Dinamo Zagreb in their opening Group H fixture and will be confident of doubling their points tally against a Rapid side struggling in the Austrian Bundesliga and who were beaten by Genk in the first round of Europa matches.
“I think the squad is the strongest it has been in recent years,” the Hammers 1965 Cup Winners Cup hero told Yellow Sport.
“Whatever team David Moyes picks, it will be talented and competitive. Having won the away tie in Croatia, we have already provided ourselves with a solid platform. I’m confident we can win the home matches and that gives us a great opportunity to go through.
“Rapid will be hurting. They’ve only won two of their opening nine league matches and currently occupy a place in the relegation zone. This match gives them a chance to focus differently, get away together as a group. Sometimes that can galvanise you, but I think we will be too strong.
“The victories at Manchester United and Leeds last week displayed the strength in depth David Moyes has at his disposal. Meanwhile, Rapid were hammered 3-0 at home by SK Puntigamer Sturm Graz at the weekend. They will be feeling the pressure and I don’t think will fancy facing the likes of Michail Antonio, Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen who possess sufficient power and pace to upset them further on the European stage.”
Brian Dear’s prediction: West Ham United 3-0 SK Rapid Wien
Jeevesie’s prediction: West Ham United 2-0 SK Rapid Wien