IT all starts here for West Ham in the Europa League, but how easy will it be against Lusitanos? Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a look at the betting.
West Ham v Lusitanos | Thursday 19:45
Do you think West Ham want this? Do they think they’re delighted to be playing on the second day of July? Probably not, but if they manage the Europa League situation correctly it may reap rewards later in the season. If I was them I’d play shadow sides until the competition gets interesting and that’s exactly what it looks like they’re doing.
They’re so chilled out about this match that their new manager is having nothing to do with it and they’ve already named their team. Should they be that relaxed about it? Yes is the answer, they’re playing a side many rungs below them in the football ladder.
Let’s start with the Hammers though. They’re playing a sprinkling of first team players alongside highly rated youngsters and they’ve been together for the last 10 days preparing for this. Manger Slaven Bilic will sit it out and let academy boss Terry Westley pull the strings. Weird? Yeah I think a little bit yeah.
Their opponents Lusitanos finished second in the Andorran league three points behind FC Santa Coloma. I’ve already been banging on about Santa Coloma this week and they let me down badly, drawing 0-0 in Gibraltar against the Lincoln Red Imps. That’s the level of form we’re talking about guys.
Take a look at Lusitanos’ past European results and they make grim reading. A 11-0 aggregate defeat against Rabotnicki (2010) 0-9 against Valletta in 2012 and a 5-1 loss in Iceland last year against EB/Streymur. It’s hard to pinpoint where this side would sit in the English pyramid but I reckon below the Conference North and South level.
So to the odds…West Ham are a best price 1/41 to win tonight and as short as 1/250. Gulp! I’m happy to be positive about the Hammers here. It’s a new dawn in an epic year for the club and while I think they may have a tricky 2015/16 I expect to kick off in style.
This side conceded eight in Malta and five in Iceland, Macedonia and Croatia in recent European ties so I reckon it will be a similar story here. Over 6.5 Goals is nicely priced at 9/5 with BetVictor and I’ll tuck into 7-0 and 8-0 wins on the Correct Score market at 10/1 and 16/1 respectively.
Yes, it’s not a full strength West Ham side but with the likes of James Tomkins, Morgan Amalfitano, Matt Jarvis and the lethal Diafra Sakho it should be a horrible night for the minnows.
West Ham v Lusitanos – Over 6.5 Goals (9/5 BetVictor)
West Ham v Lusitanos – West Ham to win 7-0 (10/1 Paddy Power)
West Ham v Lusitanos – West Ham to win 8-0 (16/1 Paddy Power)
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