By Joe Ellis

West Ham defenders can breathe a sigh of relief knowing his side won’t come up against Dinamo Zagreb top scorer Bruno Petkovic.

The Croatian international has scored three goals in five games in the UEFA Europa League but misses Thursday’s game at the London Stadium through illness.

The six-foot four inches target man is crucial to the way Zagreb play and his absence will be noticeable for both sides.

“I think it’s helpful that he’s not here because he’s a really good player and we were careful of him for the first game,”  Moyes said on West Ham’s website. “The way he links the play up for Dinamo is really important and I think he’s one of their better players and one of the Croatian internationals.

“So, for us, him missing I hope helps, but we’re well aware there will be opportunities for other players who have made a name already to show what they can do.”

Vital missing cog in the machine

Petkovic, 27 has led the line for Dinamo Zagreb all season and leads the club in goals in both the Europa League and the Croatian Premier Division where the reigning champions currently sit fourth. Albeit with games in hand on leaders Rijeka.

Luka Ivanusec and Lovro Majer have chipped in from midfield with three league goals a piece but the touted replacement for Petkovic up front is Komnen Andric.

The fellow Croatian spent last season on loan at FC Ufa but he could only manage three in 16 in Russia.

This season though he has made a much bigger impact off the bench for Zagreb having bagged three again already and he could be set for more with Petkovic out of the reckoning for Thursday’s game.

Hammers fans are able to relax without the man-mountain Petkovic to worry about with a number of the academy players likely to make their first appearances for the Irons as Moyes sets to rotate with the busy winter period fast approaching.

In other West Ham news, MPs were ‘stunned into silence’ after what was said about the Irons in Parliament on Tuesday.

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The post David Moyes reacts to major Dinamo Zagreb blow ahead of clash v West Ham appeared first on West Ham Zone.

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