West Ham United knocked both Manchester United and the then holders Manchester City out of last season’s Carabao Cup on route to the quarter-final where they themselves were eventually eliminated by fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
The Hammers face what on paper looks a much easier task to begin their 2022/23 campaign tonight, when Sky Bet Championship side Blackburn Rovers make the journey to Stratford.
The hosts are once again entering the competition at this stage due to being involved in Europe for a second consecutive campaign.
Irons’ fans will have fond memories of the last time that these two sides met, as the East Londoners romped to a 5-1 victory in an FA Cup fifth round tie at Ewood Park in 2016. They will hope that their team can produce something similar to atone for the defeat to Crystal Palace here on Sunday.
This tie will be played to a finish tonight, meaning that if the result is a draw, then it will go straight to a penalty shootout to determine who progresses to round four which will take place in the week beginning 19 December.
The Lancashire club appointed Jon Dahl Tomasson as their new Head-Coach in the summer and one of his early games saw Rovers beat both Hartlepool United and Bradford City back in August to progress to this stage.
David Moyes confirmed that Lucas Paquetá picked up a knock during the last minute heartbreak against the Eagles three days ago and is unlikely to be risked here. Alphonse Areola is set to start in goal, while Ben Johnson, Vladimír Coufal, Angelo Ogbonna, Emmerson Palmieri, Flynn Downes, Manuel Lanzini and Pablo Fornals are all hoping to be in contention. Nayef Aguerd was involved in a Premier League matchday squad for the first time against Patrick Viera’s side on Sunday and he will be hoping to feature again, just as he did last Thursday.
Michail Antonio is almost certain to play as the lone frontman and take the place of Gianluca Scamacca.
Youngsters Connor Coventry, Oliver Scarles, Freddie Potts, Keenan Appiah-Forson, Harrison Ashby, Divin Mubama, Regan Clayton, Michael Forbes, Kamarai Swyer, Kaelan Casey and Lewis Orford were all in the matchday squad for the 3-0 triumph against FCSB in the UEFA Europa Conference League and a number of them could be given a second chance in the space of just six days, as Moyes looks to prioritise Saturday’s Premier League encounter against Leicester City.
Tonight’s match is a 7:45pm kick-off and the referee is Thomas Bramall.