Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United will be hoping to continue their two-game unbeaten run in the Carabao Cup this evening, when Sky Bet League Two side Macclesfield Town are the visitors to London Stadium.
A place in the last-16 of the competition will be at stake and neither team will be wanting to bow at of the competition at this stage, not least the underdogs and lowest-ranked team left in the competition, the Silkmen. Join us, today, to look ahead to and preview the Carabao Cup Third Round tie.
When And Where?
The encounter will kick off at 7:45 PM BST, tonight (Wednesday 26 September), on the second consecutive evening of League Cup action, with much of this round being played on Tuesday.
The venue for the clash of two teams three divisions apart in the English football pyramid will be West Ham’s London Stadium home, it will be the first time that Macclesfield have visited and the second time a League Two outfit have, after Accrington Stanley at this stage of the League Cup, in September 2016.
In the build-up to the match, home manager Manuel Pellegrini spoke to the club’s official website, WHUFC.com, what the two-time League Cup winner, with Manchester City, had to say, can be found below.
“This is a competition that has many good memories for me, It was the first title I won in English football, as manager of Manchester City in 2014.
“It is a very important competition – the first major trophy that can be won in the season – and the experience of winning at Wembley in front of your supporters is something that stays with you forever.
“Our ambition is clear – to take the competition very seriously and progress as far as we possibly can. I know it is a trophy that West Ham United have not yet won in our history and, of course, we would like that to change, but first we must concentrate on showing the right approach against Macclesfield.
“In the last round at AFC Wimbledon, we went a goal down early on and had to show patience and belief in order to get back into the game and eventually come out on top, we know that we may have to show the same qualities again this evening against a team who will be very motivated and eager to make a big impression.
“However, I have every confidence that we will be in the right frame of mind. This fixture will give us the opportunity to utilise our squad and bring in players who have not had as many minutes in the Premier League recently, and I am sure they will be hungry to do well.
“We are also looking forward to another good atmosphere at London Stadium. The support for the team on Sunday was magnificent, and I hope that everyone at the game enjoys a memorable evening.”
West Ham Team News
The Chilean gaffer, who turned 64 a couple of weeks ago, also separately confirmed that the evening would be a chance for a few fringe players to shine and get their first-team opportunities.
These could include the likes of full-backs Ryan Fredericks and Aaron Cresswell, yet to see much action this season, back-up goalkeeper Adrian San-Miguel, midfielder Carlos Sanchez and striker Lucas Perez.
There is also the potential of some Academy stars getting a run-out, although this is slightly more unlikely, given that the Hammers U23s played and were defeated by Bristol Rovers in the Checkatrade trophy, last night.
In terms of injuries, long-termers Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll are not expected to be seen on the pitch until 2019, attackers Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez are also doubts, with respective injury and illness worries.
West Ham United predicted Xl: Adrian (GK), Fredericks, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Sanchez, Rice, Obiang, Anderson, Snodgrass, Perez.
The hosts come into this one in strong form, having earned an impressive goalless draw with Chelsea at London Stadium on Sunday afternoon and missed plenty of chances to take the three points.
When it comes to the last five matches, the Irons have managed to avoid defeat three times, eye-catching, considering the fact that they started the league campaign with four consecutive losses.
Five matches ago, they were narrowly defeated at the Emirates Stadium, before overcoming AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup, losing at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, then, recovering to take three points away at Everton and pick up a point against the Blues.
Meanwhile, the Silkmen come to East London on the back of a 2-1 loss to Morecambe away from home, in which they had a man sent off, they arrive in dire form.
Their last five outings have resulted in four defeats and one win, though, the victory didn’t come in conventional circumstances, Macclesfield’s poor start to the campaign has left them rock bottom of the Football League.
The aforementioned victory came three matches ago, on penalties, over Blackpool in the Checkatrade Trophy, this side of a defeat to Crewe Alexander and the other side of a hat-trick of consecutive losses, to Stevenage, Lincoln City and Morecambe.
In the previous round, Round Two, Pellegrini’s Hammers survived the scare of going a goal down to come back and progress, getting the better of League One Wimbledon 1-3 in South London.
Whereas, the Silkmen have loved a penalty shootout this term and it was this way that Mark Yates’ men reached this stage of the competition, downing Walsall impressively, on away soil.
How To Follow
Unlike the Wimbledon clash, this cup tie is not being broadcasted on television or mainstream radio in the United Kingdom, but never fear, you can follow along with West Ham Matters from 5:45 PM BST.
We will be bringing you a Matchday Live Blog, containing live and exclusive build-up, text commentary and reaction, live from London Stadium, be sure to follow along.
So, now that the Stratford scene has been well and truly set for what promises to be a special cup night under the lights, can the hosts continue their recovery, or do the visitors have a cup upset up their sleeves? Follow our Live Blog, to find out.