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  • West Ham Vs Bayer Leverkusen Tips And Predictions: Wunderkind Wirtz To Seal The Deal On The Break

West Ham vs Bayer Leverkusen tips and predictions: Wunderkind Wirtz to seal the deal on the break

West Ham face a mammoth task as they attempt to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Bundesliga winners Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League on Thursday (2000 BST).

Bayer Leverkusen struck two late goals which reflected their dominance against West Ham in Germany and handed them control of the tie.

Given how the Hammers have already been written off, you’d think they’re being asked to escape Alcatraz followed by breaking into Fort Knox.

The Germans have secured the equivalent of 23 points in the final 10 minutes of games across all competitions, avoiding defeat by the skin of their teeth countless times.

They’ve scored four goals after the 90-minute mark against Qarabag alone in Europe, drawing 2-2, winning 1-0, and 3-2 thanks to Patrick Shick’s late brace.

Xabi Alonso’s side have also come within seconds of losing on numerous occasions, so other teams have come close, but will West Ham be the side to end their run?

Lesser sides have come mightily close but the circumstances David Moyes’ side find themselves in aren’t favourable.


Chasing the game against the German champions is a difficult enough task, but we see no way back if Jarrod Bowen joins Lucas Paqueta on the sidelines.

Jonathan Tah looks physically built to handle Michail Antonio who will likely end up isolated against a back three, so their best chance could be a James-Ward Prowse delivery.

Florian Wirtz, 21 next month, has scored 17 goals and provided 18 assists this season, but a trip to a Premier League club is a spotlight opportunity that he will grab with both hands.

West Ham’s only win in six was arguably unjust and the visitors possess too much of a threat on the break to make a comeback possible.


Team news

Jarrod Bowen was pictured in training on Thursday but is probably less than 100% even if he is in the matchday squad.

Lucas Paqueta and Emerson are suspended while Alphonse Areola remains sidelined with injury.

Adam Hlozek’s potential return would mean Alonso has no injury or suspension concerns for Thursday’s second leg.

The Germans rested five key starters at the weekend, including hat-trick hero Florian Wirtz who sealed the Bundesliga title from the bench.


Key stats

- West Ham have won two of their last 10 home matches across all competitions
- West Ham lost both legs against Germany's Eintracht Frankfurt in their last Europa League campaign
- Bayer Leverkusen are unbeaten in 43 matches across all competitions
- Bayer Leverkusen have scored 26 goals in nine Europa League matches


Suggested bets

Bayer Leverkusen to win

Florian Wirtz to score

Both teams to score

Over 2.5 goals

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