Astra betting preview with Betway

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After a scare in Malta last week West Ham United are fully expected to get back on track against their Romanian opponents on Thursday evening at the Boleyn Ground. The first leg of this qualifying tie in the Europa League sees the Hammers as the 4/7 favourites to gain an advantage. The away side FC Astra are 5/1 outsiders, with the draw priced at 14/5. Slaven Bilic's side are also the 2/7 favourites to progress through to the next round over two legs.
Bilic is currently juggling with the task of competitive football making up part of a Barclays Premier League pre-season. The opener against Arsenal at the Emirates is on the horizon and a solid home win in this tie will make that selection process far easier. All the reports point to a strong Hammers line up. 
The home crowd may get a first glimpse of Dimitri Payet in his full first team debut. One to look forward to after gushing reports from friendly matches he has already appeared in. He is a 9/2 chance to score the first goal of the night and 6/5 to score at any point of the evening. The 'First Goalscorer' market also has Matt Jarvis at 9/1 and Aaron Creswell at 16/1 for those who like bigger prices. Creswell who likes to get involved with any free-kicks that suit a left-footed player around the box. Free-kicks could be in abundance as with the first few games for the Hammers in this tournament. Underdogs taking advantage of continental style refereeing has been a feature. The left-back could be on hand to find the net with one at some point.
The 'Correct Score' market has a 1-0 home win as the 5/1 favourite. The Romanian visitors kept clean-sheets in both matches against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the previous round. It therefore could be a low scoring encounter. 'Under 2.5 goals' is priced at 3/4. In an ideal world West Ham will win the game by two or three goals and deny Astra an away goal, which would give the ability to rest personnel next week. The Hammers to win without conceding is offered as a special bet at 5/4. 
With West Ham once again favourites to progress from this round the odds on Europa League glory remain set at 50/1. Remember you can access a whole host of Hammers exclusive Betway seasonal bets by clicking here.
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