West Ham United: Adrian, Chambers, Tomkins ©, McCartney, Rat, Diarra, Cole, Collison, Taylor, Morrison, Vaz Te
Subs: Henderson, Nolan, Diame, Downing, Lee, Lletget, Ruddock
Like everyone else I am looking forward to Ravel Morrison playing a full match in claret and blue. He looks to be the first name on the team sheet for the League Cup second round tie against Cheltenham. Given his pre-season form he can consider himself unlucky that he didn’t make the first eleven against Cardiff. I fully expect Sam Allardyce to ring a lot of changes for this match. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if he retains only two or three of the team that started at Newcastle.
The two players I would retain for this match are Maiga and O’Brien. I’d like to see O’Brien play in his preferred right back position just to see if he links up with Downing better than Demel. And Maiga needs a chance to score a goal or two. For the same reason I’d bring in Vaz Te who also needs his confidence boosted. James Tomkins is a dead cert start in central defence, and it is difficult to see why Razvan Rat would get his debut. I’d imagine Diarra will also appear at some stage.
Perhaps more interesting than the first eleven, will be the makeup of the bench. I’d like to see Dan Potts, Blair Turgott and Elliott Lee feature, along with Dylan Tombides. But I think we only get 5 subs in these games, so I doubt more than one of two of those will get the nod.
We should be looking to tonk Cheltenham. They are four off the bottom of League 2 with four points from four games. It would be a major disappointment to score fewer than four. But this is West Ham we are talking about and we rarely do what we should against teams like this. But we should be aiming to win this trophy this season. Let’s not mess about.