Preview: Rapid Vienna vs. West Ham United – prediction, team news, lineups
Rapid Vienna vs. West Ham United will be held today by 5.45pm.
West Ham United’s Europa League adventure will continue when they travel to Rapid Vienna on Thursday, where a victory will result in them winning the group.
For the hosts, they must earn three points to stand any chance of progressing into the next round, placing a lot of importance on their performance.
Rapid Vienna find themselves bottom of Group H heading into Thursday, having won just once so far which has led to this being a must-win match.
The hosts will be unable to qualify if they lose against the Hammers, no matter what the result is in the other fixture and even a victory might not be enough to keep their dreams alive.
A Dinamo Zagreb win would end Vienna’s hopes of qualifying, but they must concentrate on their match as they attempt to pick up their second three points.
Dietmar Kuhbauer’s team were able to defeat Zagreb in the third round of matches, due to finishes from Marco Grull and Maximilian Hofmann as they earned a 2-1 victory.
However, defensively they have struggled at times in this group, having conceded seven goals so far in the competition, which is a concern against West Ham.
David Moyes has watched his side find the back of the net on nine different occasions in the Europa League so far, with two of those coming against Rapid Vienna.
The Hammers defeated their opponents 2-0 in the reverse fixture, with Declan Rice and Said Benrahma both on target, despite the fact they did not have the lion’s share of possession.
However, West Ham have been ruthless in their performances so far in Europe, which is why they have already qualified for the knockout stage of the competition.
Despite that, Moyes will be wanting more from his team after they were held to a draw in their most recent outing in this group against Genk.
Even though Benrahma scored a brace, they ended up conceding a late own goal from Tomas Soucek which saw the spoils shared on the night.
West Ham were also defeated at the weekend against Wolverhampton Wanderers which is a result and performance they will want to put behind them.
Rapid Vienna Europa League form:
Rapid Vienna form (all competitions):
West Ham United Europa League form:
West Ham United form (all competitions):
Rapid Vienna picked up a victory in their most recent outing and they could end up pushing the same starting XI to try and build some consistency and momentum for this match.
They will be without shot-stopper Bernhard Unger and central defender Kevin Wimmer due to injuries, but Paul Gartler shall start in goal for the club.
Moyes will also be missing one of his defensive options after Angelo Ogbonna underwent surgery recently due to damaging his ACL, with Kurt Zouma and Craig Dawson expected to be starting on Thursday.
This game could provide the chance for the Hammers to rotate some players, with the likes of Mark Noble, Manuel Lanzini and Vladimir Coufal all being options.
Rapid Vienna possible starting lineup:
Gartler; Ullmann, Moormann, Aiwu, Stokjovic; Grahovac, Ljubicic; Fountas, Grull, Knasmullner; Kara
West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Coufal, Zouma, Dawson, Cresswell; Noble, Rice; Masuaku, Lanzini, Benrahma; Antonio
We say: Rapid Vienna vs. West Ham United -> Over 1.5
Rapid Vienna vs. West Ham United- This game means more to the hosts than it does to the Hammers, but that does not mean that it will be an easy one for them to secure a point in.
West Ham have a much stronger squad and plenty of options available due to the depth in the squad, which is why they should be able to get another victory here.
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Source: Sports Mole.