Match: Astra – West Ham United Preview, Predictions and Betting Tips
Date: Thursday, 18 August, 2016
Start time: 19:00 UK
Astra hosts West Ham United in a first match who will decide which team will play in the Europe League group stage.
Only a year ago we saw Astra against West Ham in the 3rd qualifying round of UEFA Europa League. Now we will see them fight against each other in the next round – the playoffs, right before the group stage.
Before their last meeting, West Ham was considered as a big favorite, but they made a lot of mistakes and finally were knocked out. Now we are in the similar situation – Astra is the underdog, while “The Hammers” are considered as a big favorite, but now the spectators know what happened a year ago. There are only one difference now which is related to the home factor. Astra will have the home advantage in the first game, but they must travel to England for the return one (which is the worse situation). A lot of teams prefer to play away in the first meeting and to stay home at the return game, having a massive support.
In the next game, Astra will be without one of their biggest stars – Denis Alibec, who is injured. While “The Hammers” won’t count Lanzini and Cresswell. All 3 of them are having knee problems and maybe these players won’t be able to play in the second game. It’s so strange that a year ago West Ham United, leading by Slaven Bilic, started with a lot of their top players, but they lost. This tournament – UEFA Europa League isn’t one of their favorites and they will give a lot of chances to Astra.
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