WEST Ham host Birkirkara on Thursday night in the Europa League. We asked Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) for his best bets.
West Ham v Birkirkara | Thursday 19:45
After being on cruise control in their uninspiring win over Lusitanos in the opening round of the Europa League, West Ham now face Maltese outfit Birkarkara in the second round.
Slaven Bilic is expected to name a stronger side than the collective named in the two legs against Lusitanos so it could be a tough night for Birkarkara.
The Maltese side finished third in their domestic league last season and overcame Ulisses in the opening round. They only drew 0-0 in Malta but managed a 3-1 win in Armenia to confirm qualification to the second round.
They have a mixed bag of results to their name over the last few European seasons. Highlights include a home draw against Maribor, lowlights a 6-2 aggregate defeat to Hungarian side Diosgyor last season. Since 2001 this side have only won two European ties and those were against Armenian and Andorran sides.
The Hammers are best price 1/16 to win this with the Maltese minnows 60/1. It’s incredibly hard to feel inspired about this from a punting point of view and the words aren’t flowing that well.
Birkirkara haven’t met a side of this calibre for a number of seasons in Europe and they’re very unlikely to score. This will be Game 3 and Game 4 of West Ham’s season so we should expect an improvement from the opening two matches. I’ll have punts on them winning 3-0 and 4-0 at 6/1 and 13/2 respectively.
West Ham v Birkirkara – West Ham to win 3-0 (6/1 Betway)
West Ham v Birkirkara – West Ham to win 4-0 (13/2 BetVictor)
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