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Silkeborg vs West Ham predictions: Hammers to dominate in Denmark
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Jack Ogalbe
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David Moyes' West Ham have started to click and will feel confident of victory against Silkeborg, having scored nine goals in Europe
David Moyes' West Ham have started to click and will feel confident of victory against Silkeborg, having scored nine goals in Europe

Last year's Europa League semi-finalists West Ham continue their Europa Conference League campaign on Thursday with a trip to Silkeborg in Group B. 

The Hammers have already beaten Danish opposition this term, vanquishing Viborg 6-1 over two legs in the play-off round.

But Thursday's opponents should be a step up, having finished four places above Viborg in last season's Superliga. 

After dropping out of the Europa League, Silkeborg lost their opening Group B clash to Anderlecht 1-0 before bouncing back on Sunday with a win against local rivals AGF by the same scoreline. 

This is their first season in Europe since 2001-02 and West Ham's recent experience should give them an advantage heading into the game. 

Team news

Silkeborg boss Kent Nielsen often avoids wholesale changes, making just two for that win over AGF. 

However, one of them, Sebastian Jorgensen, scored the winner on Sunday and could continue in place of Soren Tengstedt down the right of the attack. 

West Ham still have defensive injury worries, with Nayef Aguerd (ankle) a long-term absentee and Ben Johnson (thigh) and Aaron Cresswell (groin) nursing issues. 

Midfielder Tomas Soucek is also battling a foot problem, while Maxwel Cornet suffered a knock in last Thursday's 3-1 win over FCSB. 

Last season's run to the last four of the Europa League eventually exposed West Ham's lack of squad depth but their summer business means they can afford to rotate for this game as they look ahead to Sunday's trip to Everton. 

The likes of Said Benrahma, Manuel Lanzini and Gianluca Scamacca will be desperate to prove themselves if handed starts. 

The stats

Silkeborg have lost just one of their five home games this season in all competitions. 

That might be down to the surface at JYSK Park, which is synthetic rather than grass. 

Jorgensen has scored in their last two outings on their own patch and his goal on Sunday ended a run of three straight defeats for his side. 

This is the Jutland club's first appearance in the group stages of a European tournament but their seventh in the main draw of a continental competition, having won the Intertoto Cup in 1996. 

West Ham also won that competition in 1999, while they lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1964-65. 

Fast forward to the modern day and they have taken just four points from their first six Premier League games but have recorded a perfect three wins from as many outings in the Europa Conference League. 

David Moyes' side have scored three goals in each of those European matches. 

Gianluca Scamacca scored in both legs against Viborg
Gianluca Scamacca scored in both legs against Viborg

Prediction

Silkeborg are likely to prove stubborn opposition but may struggle to threaten the Hammers' defence, having failed to score more than one goal in their last five games in all competitions. 

In fact, they did not record a single shot on target against Anderlecht. 

They have also kept just one clean sheet in that time — in the weekend win against AGF — and having scored in both legs against Viborg, West Ham's Scamacca could be a player to watch. 

The Italian striker is pushing Michail Antonio hard for the starting spot and a player of his quality should thrive in this competition, especially in a side in fine European scoring form.

Tags

West Ham UnitedSilkeborgEuropa Conference LeagueGianluca ScamaccaMichail Antonio
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