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West Ham fans will love what Hargreaves has said about Europa League, delivers Vlasic prediction

Owen Hargreaves has told BT Sport that West Ham could be a dark horse in the Europa League – and predicted Nikola Vlasic to come good.

The Hammers made the perfect start to their Europa League campaign on Thursday night, beating Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 away from home.

Michail Antonio took advantage of a back pass, latching on and rounding the goalkeeper to tap home. But Declan Rice got the goal of the night.

Winning the ball in his own half, Rice broke forward, driving past a couple of Zagreb players with pace and power – before nutmegging the goalkeeper.

A brilliant win for an in-form West Ham side that remain unbeaten in the Premier League with eight points from four. Hargreaves had his say.

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The ex-England midfielder reckons West Ham are in with a shout of winning the tournament – and made a prediction about new signing Vlasic.

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“David Moyes has built a fantastic team there, a great group of players that continue to get better. Vlasic is going to be a good player,” Hargreaves said.

“Benrahma is fabulous, Antonio absolutely fantasic. The balance is there. I think they could be one of the dark horses to win the competition.”

Hargreaves on West Ham: Can they really win Europa League?

A lot of things would have to go in the direction of West Ham. Firstly, their best players would have to remain fit – Antonio most importantly.

Without the ex-Forest man, the Hammers lack another striker that is anything similar to him. Keeping Rice fit is almost as important.

Pablo Fornals, Aaron Cresswell and Kurt Zouma will also be crucial. The Hammers would need a good route, but their lack of depth is an issue.

While they will surely progress past Christmas and into the knockout rounds, West Ham will be delighted if they reach the quarter-finals.

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