Sevilla vs. West Ham Predictions: An historic night in West Ham's first European knockout game since 1981
It’s the last 16 of the Europa League, and we’ve got some cracking fixtures on the way on Thursday. West Ham are playing in their first knockout game in Europe since 1981, and they couldn’t have been given a much tougher encounter than six times UEL winners, Sevilla.
Sevilla vs West Ham Tips
This is an experience that’s unknown to modern Hammers fans, but the trip to the gorgeous city of Seville will be one that they’ll take in their stride. As previously mentioned, David Moyes’ side can’t have been given a much tougher task, but they’ll be confident within themselves after an impressive showing in the group stage.
Four wins, one draw and a single loss was enough to see them finish top of Group H, and earn a bye into this round. Unfortunately for them, Jarrod Bowen is a major doubt after suffering a heel injury at Liverpool, but David Moyes will hope to have Declan Rice back in the middle of the park. Said Benrahma should prove an able deputy, and given the fact he’s West Ham’s top scorer in this competition this season, will be looked to in order to provide a spark.
You can’t mention the Europa League without including Sevilla in there. The Spanish outfit will always be fancied in this competition, having won it all six times since 2005/06. However, Hammers fans will be encouraged by the fact that they struggled to overcome Dinamo Zagreb in the round of 32, and that despite their second placed position in La Liga, they’ve only won three games in their last 10 in all competitions.
Anthony Martial is included in the 22-man squad for the Spaniards, but they’re still missing a whole host of players, including the likes of Thomas Delaney, Suso, Diego Carlos and more. As ever, we’ve put together two tips for the fixture.
First off, I’m going to stick my neck on the line and back West Ham to get an historic result here. I’m not sure they’ll have enough to get the win on the night, but you never know! My reasoning for backing the draw comes from the fact that Sevilla have drawn four of their last six when it comes to the league. They haven’t lost at home since suffering defeat to Lille back at the start of November, so will be confident themselves, but with numerous players out, I fancy David Moyes and co. to get a solid result in the first leg.
Next up, we’re looking at West Ham’s main man Declan Rice to pick up a card on Thursday night. No Hammers player has been booked more in the league than Rice this season, picking up seven cards from just 25 fouls! He’s already been booked once in the Europa League this season, having given away five fouls overall, so we’re looking to the law of averages to start to come into play here. I expect Sevilla to have plenty of the ball at home, and if at any point The Irons seem overrun, you can see Rice happily taking a cynical foul to slow things down.
Good luck if you’re following any of these bets, and please remember to gamble responsibly.
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