After knocking out Manchester United at Old Trafford last month, West Ham United will want to become the team that finally ends Manchester City’s dominance of the Carabao Cup for the first time since 2017, as the Hammers face Josep Guardiola’s men in Stratford for a fourth round tie tonight.
The Irons will not want to go the same way as they did last season, as their run ended at this stage after they suffered a 4-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park following sizeable home victories over Sky Bet League One sides Charlton Athletic and Hull City.
When the two teams met here in a top-flight encounter last October, Guardiola’s team had to settle for a point after coming from behind, as the contest ended in a 1-1 draw. Could that particular statistic serve as an omen?
The visitors set up this tie after a comfortable 6-1 home win over Sky Bet League One outfit Wycombe Wanderers.
Like West Ham, the Citizens have had a busy schedule in the last ten days and with European competition taking centre stage again next week, it will be interesting to see who has the most energy left in their tank.
Tonight’s hosts didn’t need a penalty shootout against the Red Devils and they will hope that they don’t need one here either, as they look to confirm a place at the next stage.
David Moyes has already named two much-changed teams this week and he is set to do the same here. Just as Angelo Ogbonna did three days ago against Tottenham Hotspur, it will be the turn of fellow defender Issa Diop to hit a landmark in this game, as the Frenchman will make his 100th appearance for the club if he is indeed selected.
Declan Rice is likely to be rested, meaning Mark Noble will get another chance to take the Captain’s armband as he did against the Red Devils in the last round, as well as the recent European encounter with SK Rapid Vienna.
Other names that could be included are Alphonse Areola, Andriy Yarmolenko, Nikola Vlašić, Craig Dawson, Manuel Lanzini and Arthur Masuaku. Alex Král hasn’t been in contention recently, as he has been suffering with Coronavirus. However, it is thought that he will soon be back involved along with Vladimír Coufal and Ryan Fredericks.
Youngsters Harrison Ashby, Ajibola Alese, Jamal Baptiste and Dan Chesters have all been given places in the matchday squad on different occasions this season and they might be included again here. The manager can also name nine substitutes on his bench and a total of five can be used in the match, due to new rules for this competition.
The action will get underway at 7:45pm and as per the last round, Jonathan Moss will referee this encounter.