WEST Ham are in danger of dropping out the Europa League, can they save themselves on Thursday? Chris Graham (chrisgraham79) looks at the odds.
Astra Giurgiu v West Ham | Thursday 19:00
West Ham have been an absolute disgrace in the Europa League this season. Tiny Armenian side Lusitanos only lost by one goal in their opening qualifying round home tie and then the Hammers needed penalties to knock out Birkirkara. This was the same side that were pummelled by Diosgyor in last season’s competition. Yeah, me neither?!!
Last week Astra Giurgiu from Romania were the opponents and the visitors managed a 2-2 draw at Upton Park despite being 2-0 down with just 20 minutes left.
As if flustered by the ineptitude of his team and the possible battle to stay in the Premier League this season, Bilic has panicked and named a second-string team for this second leg match. My conclusion is simple: THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT!
Very disappointingly the bookmakers seem to agree with me as Astra are no bigger than 13/8, even some of their fans think they’ll win easy if you take a look at their Wikipedia page.
The Romanian team haven’t been too prolific at home in Europe though. Just one win from their last five European home matches have occurred and before that it’s two wins in nine.
I think we’ll see a tight game here. In the previous round Astra had a 1-0 lead from their match in Inverness and managed to hold on to a 0-0 draw on home soil. They should deploy similar tactics here and keep it very tight.
I honestly believe that if West Ham get knocked out on Thursday there will be an air of quiet triumphalism around the club. They don’t need this competition in their lives with a tough season ahead. For relegation backers like me, it wouldn’t be great news if Astra progressed.
Astra Giurgiu v West Ham – Under 2.5 Goals (5/6 Boylesports)
Astra Giurgiu v West Ham – No Goalscorer (9/1 Bet365)