Domzale vs West Ham:
Europa League Qualifier.
Date: Thursday, 28-July-2016
Kick-Off: 19:45 UK
Venue: Stadion Stozice (Ljubljana).
West Ham United kick-off their quest for European football with a trip to Slovenia to meet NK Domzale for the first leg clash of the Europa League third round qualification fixture.
The hosts for Thursday night, Domzale finished third in the 2015/16 Slovenian PrvaLiga to book a berth in the qualifier of this season’s UEFA Europa League. However they were at a considerable 19 point distance from league winners Olimpija Ljubljana and runner-up NK Maribor. They were in the Europa League qualification last season, which ended in the first round with a 1-0 aggregate loss to Serbian side FK Cukaricki.
Domzale are already pretty active as they were involved in two rounds of qualification fixtures and two matches into the Slovenian League. They are unbeaten in the six competitive fixtures so far, with 4 wins and 2 draws. The first round European test was against the Portuguese side FC Lusitanos, which they won 5-2 on aggregate with a 3-1 win at home followed by a 2-1 away win. The second round fixture saw them pitted against Belarus outfit Shakhtyor Soligorsk, which was decided by a 2-1 home win in the second leg after a 1-1 draw in the away leg.
West Ham on the other hand finished 7th in the English Premier League last season. They had a good chance of finishing inside the top four, but an array of poor results at the tail end of the season pushed them down to the table from a commanding position. Slaven Bilic will not want a repeat of last season where their Europa League campaign was halted by a 4-3 aggregate loss to Romanian side Astra Giurgiu at the same stage.
The Hammers haven’t done well in the warm-up matches as they tasted victory once in the 5 matches played so far. Their preparation campaign for new season started with a 3-0 win at Seattle Sounders. This was followed by two 2-2 draws against American lower division side Carolina RailHawks and Czech outfit FC Slovacko. A heavy 3-0 defeat at Rubin Kazan was next, but managed to gain confidence in the final match against FC Karlsruher.
Domzale vs West Ham: Head-to-Head Statistics
This will be first time these two sides are meeting in any form of football match. Neither Domzale or West Ham United had previously met teams from their opponent’s country.
Domzale vs West Ham: Prediction
Domazle had done pretty well so far this season after managing to stay undefeated from 6 competitive matches so far. They had also won in each of the three games played at home so far, netting a total of 7 goals. West Ham is a quality side and every must be expecting them to win this pass easily. But I think they can expect an extremely difficult match on Thursday. If their disappointing pre-season exploits is not enough, the away form last season will confirm that fact that one can lower their expectation for the Hammers.
West Ham might probably end up as narrow winners, but this is a risky proposition. I will be rather confident in backing both teams to score goals at least a goal each. Also there is a higher probability of seeing over 2.5 goals at the end of 90 minutes of football.
Domzale vs West Ham: Prediction
- Both Teams to Score.
- Over 2.5 goals.