West Ham know that a win in Serbia against TSC Backa Topola on Thursday will see them qualify for the knockout rounds of the Europa League.
TSC Backa Topola vs West Ham Betting Tips
- West Ham to win and both teams to score @ 8/5 with bet365
- Mohammed Kudus Anytime Scorer @ 6/5 with bet365
- Lucas Paqueta to be carded @ 11/5 with bet365
All odds are courtesy of bet365, correct at the time of publishing and subject to change.
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The Hammers sit top of Group A on nine points, level with Freiburg, who visit the London Stadium in next month's final round of pool games.
There is a scenario where they do not win on Thursday but still go through by virtue of Olympiacos failing to beat Freiburg.
However, with the German club set to visit Stratford next month, David Moyes' men will want to get the job done in Serbia before battling with Breisgau-Brasilianer for top spot.
TSC sit bottom of the group and will be eyeing their first victory, having so far only taken a single point from their four matches courtesy of a 2-2 draw against Olympiacos.
The Serbs cannot progress to the knockout rounds of the Europa League but can still qualify for the Conference League by finishing third and are sure to prove awkward opponents for Moyes' side.
Hammers to battle through
West Ham head east on the back of a battling 2-1 win at Burnley, a match where they were without both Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen. Antonio is expected to miss out again on Thursday, while Bowen may not be risked, and the game could follow a similar path as at Turf Moor.
TSC are hard to pin down. They won 4-0 at Serbian league leaders Partizan at the weekend, yet have been inconsistent at both home and abroad this season, conceding 13 goals in their four Europa League games.
However, they have scored at home against Olympiacos and Freiburg and also netted in their 3-1 defeat at the London Stadium.
The Hammers have scored seven times but have kept just one clean sheet and while they have plenty of firepower, they can leave themselves vulnerable.
Another victory looks possible on Thursday, but TSC are unlikely to make life easy.
TSC Backa Topola vs West Ham Tip 1: West Ham to win and both teams to score @ 8/5 with bet365
Kudus can shine again
Antonio and Bowen's absences at Burnley required Mohammed Kudus to step up and he initially struggled to inspire his side, with the Clarets limiting the skilful Ghanaian's space.
Despite the frustration, his perseverance paid off, with unfortunate home defender Dara O'Shea diverting Kudus' ball past his own goalkeeper before the winger's fine cross teed up Tomas Soucek for West Ham's stoppage-time winner.
Kudus netted twice in the reverse fixture and is likely to see plenty of the ball. He has a tally of 10 efforts in the group stages of this season's Europa League and is a real contender to net again.
TSC Backa Topola vs West Ham Tip 2: Mohammed Kudus Anytime Scorer @ 6/5 with bet365
A card could be on the agenda for Paqueta
Lucas Paqueta rightly has a reputation for being a critical cog in West Ham's attacking armoury, providing the assist for Bowen's winner in last season's Conference League final.
For all his creativity, the 26-year-old's mercurial nature can make him profligate in possession and he often responds by conceding a cheap free-kick to halt the opposition's momentum.
The Brazilian has already served a domestic ban for accumulating five yellow cards and also received a caution in the defeat to Olympiacos.
Paqueta has committed five fouls in this season's competition and he may find himself in Allard Lindhout's notebook.
TSC Backa Topola vs West Ham Bet 3: Lucas Paqueta to be carded @ 11/5 with bet365