West Ham United and Eintracht Frankfurt will look to take a step closer to the Europa League final when they square off in the first leg of their semi-final tie on Thursday evening in London.
At a time when the Hammers sit in the seventh position in the Premier League standings, Frankfurt finds themselves in ninth place in the Bundesliga table.
David Moyes has a big defensive crisis at hand with Issa Diop recently joined by Kurt Zouma and Nigerian descent Angelo Ogbonna on the sidelines.
While Craig Dawson’s red card against Chelsea means little in a Europa League context but Ben Johnson and Aaron Cresswell playing either side of former West Brom center-back in the back three.
Declan Rice, Alphonse Areola, Jarrod Bowen, and Michail Antonio will all surely be recalled after they were rested on Sunday.
For Frankfurt, Makoto Hasebe will likely replace Evan N’Dicka after his red card at the Camp Nou but Kristijan Jakic is also suspended.
Djibril Sow is in line to return in the center of midfield for the Bundesliga outfit.
Head to Head
West Ham last faced German opposition when they took on Frankfurt, 46 years ago after John Lyall and Ron Greenwood guided the Hammers to a European Cup Winners’ Cup final, eliminating Frankfurt in the semi-finals across two legs.
The Hammers lost in Germany but triumphed 3-1 at Upton Park thanks to a Trevor Brooking brace and another from Keith Robson.
West Ham have been struggling for consistency with two wins two draws and two defeats from their last six matches.
Frankfurt are not doing better either with one victory three games end in stalemate and suffered two losses from the same number of fixtures from all competitions.
West Ham United Possible Starting Lineup: Areola; Johnson, Dawson, Cresswell; Coufal, Soucek, Rice, Masuaku; Fornals, Bowen; Antonio
Eintracht Frankfurt Possible Starting Lineup:
Trapp; Tuta, Hinteregger, Hasebe; Knauff, Sow, Rode, Kostic; Kamada, Lindstrom; Borre
Given the magnitude of this fixture for both clubs, we do not expect either side to go out all-guns-blazing in the first leg.
The two sides will be perfectly content with remaining on level terms ahead of the return fixture in Germany, leading us to predict a low-scoring draw at the London Stadium.
Punters can also stake a win or draw for West Ham and the odds goes for 1.23 on the platform.
MonieBet have a lovely market to exploit and over 1.5 is the good outcome with odds going for 1.31.
Predictions: West Ham 1-1 Frankfurt