Dan Coker's Match Preview

NOTE FROM IAIN: The Predictor League for Hull City tomorrow is open and you can register a team until 4pm HERE. If you haven’t created a profile, please do so HERE.

Blast from the past

West Ham United have met Hull City on just one previous occasion in the League Cup, with the Hammers currently holding a 100% record over the Tigers in the competition.

Today’s focus takes us back just over 50 years to that game, on 9th September 1970. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles were number one with ‘Tears Of A Clown’, Michael Caine was in UK cinemas in Too Late The Hero and Neil Young released his third studio album, After the Gold Rush, ten days later. The First Division Hammers, meanwhile, welcomed their Second Division visitors for this League Cup second round tie in front of 19,160 on a Wednesday evening at the Boleyn Ground.

Ron Greenwood’s West Ham went into the game in 18th place in the First Division and without a win from their first seven league games – indeed the Irons wouldn’t win a league match until early October, at the eleventh time of asking. Hull, led by recently-appointed player-manager Terry Neill, took advantage of the Hammers’ poor run of form and frustrated their hosts for 85 minutes. Their brave resistance was finally broken with five minutes of the game remaining when Geoff Hurst’s quickly-taken corner on the left found Frank Lampard – the left-back, who turned 72 on Sunday, crossed for Clyde Best to nod down and 26-year-old Yorkshireman Peter Eustace (pictured below) shot home the game’s only goal from 12 yards.

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Billy Bonds was sent off with three minutes remaining – his shot brought a fine save from the visiting goalkeeper and Bonds was pushed when he turned away from goal. He was dismissed for his retaliation. The Tigers staged a late push for an equaliser against the ten-man Hammers but could not find a way through, the Irons holding out to secure a 1-0 victory. Bonds would go on to be voted Hammer of the Year, with Bobby Moore runner-up.

West Ham United: Peter Grotier, Billy Bonds, Bobby Moore, Alan Stephenson, Frank Lampard, Harry Redknapp, Peter Eustace, Bobby Howe, Geoff Hurst, Jimmy Greaves, Clyde Best.

The Hammers would lose their third round tie 3-1 at First Division rivals Coventry. Tottenham went on to win the League Cup Final of 1971, beating Aston Villa 2-0 at Wembley. Hurst would end the 1970/71 season as West Ham’s top goalscorer with 16 goals from 41 appearances.

Club Connections

Former West Ham midfielder Grant McCann is currently manager at Hull. Robert Snodgrass and Jarrod Bowen welcome their old club to east London, while former Hammer Martin Samuelsen is now with the Tigers. Hammers captain Mark Noble had a loan spell with Hull early on in his career. A small collection of players join them in having turned out for both West Ham United and Hull City:

Goalkeepers: Roy Carroll and Stephen Bywater.

Defenders: Dennis Burnett, Jack Dowen, Robbie Stockdale, Tommy Brandon and Abdoulaye Faye.

Midfielders: Nolberto Solano, Mohamed Diame, Richard Garcia and Alf Fenwick.

Strikers: Alan Taylor, Cliff Hubbard, Nikica Jelavic, Stuart Pearson, Ricardo Vaz Te and Tony Weldon.

Iain Dowie had two spells with West Ham before going on to manage Hull.

Today’s focus though is on a current Hull player who started his career at West Ham. Born in Newham on 2nd September 1996, Reece Burke joined the Hammers at the age of nine and made his debut as a 17-year-old substitute under Sam Allardyce in a 5-0 FA Cup third round defeat at Nottingham Forest on 5th January 2014. A centre-back standing at just over 6’2 tall, Burke made his home debut for the club in a League Cup second round match against Sheffield United on 26th August 2014, playing the whole match as the Blades knocked the Hammers out on penalties.

Burke made his Premier League breakthrough at the end of the 2014/15 season, helping the Irons to a clean sheet on his league bow in a goalless draw at QPR. He played in all five of the final matches of the campaign, starting four of them. He was also a starter in Super Slaven Bilic’s first match in charge, a 3-0 home win over Andorran side Lusitans in the first leg of the Europa League first qualifying round on 2nd July 2015. Burke featured twice more in the Europa League that season, in the away leg against the Andorrans and in the first leg of the third qualifying round, a 2-2 draw with Astra Giurgiu, before completing a season-long loan move to League One Bradford where he would win their Player of the Year award.

Burke featured in both legs of the Europa League first round, again against Astra Giurgiu, in August 2016 – he started the first leg in the unfamiliar position of left-back after injury to Aaron Cresswell and the ineligibility of Arthur Masuaku. The Hammers were knocked out 2-1 on aggregate. Burke joined Championship side Wigan on loan for the 2016/17 campaign – the Latics would be relegated at the end of the season.

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Burke remained in the Championship for the first half of the 2017/18 season, joining Bolton in another loan deal until January, alongside fellow Academy product Josh Cullen. He returned to east London with new manager David Moyes now in charge and started at right-back in a goalless FA Cup third round draw at Shrewsbury. Burke’s finest moment in claret and blue came in the replay on 16th January 2018 when he scored his only goal for the club, smashing high into the net after a Toni Martinez cut-back to give the Irons a 112th-minute winner in a 1-0 victory. This goal can be viewed in the video below.

Burke made his final Hammers appearance in the next round eleven days later, a 2-0 defeat at Wigan in the fourth round. He returned to Bolton on loan for the remainder of 2017/18, helping the Trotters to secure survival by just two points. After scoring one goal in 15 appearances for West Ham United, the 21-year-old Burke departed for Championship side Hull in the summer of 2018 having been sold by new Hammers manager Manuel Pellegrini for a fee believed to be in the region of £1.5m. He made his Hull debut in a 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa on 6th August 2018 and made 35 appearances as the Tigers finished 13th under Nigel Adkins.

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Burke made 38 appearances last season under new manager Grant McCann (a fellow former Hammer) and even captained the side in a 3-2 FA Cup third round win over Rotherham in January of this year – the Tigers were relegated at the end of the season. Burke has played every minute in three of Hull’s four matches to date this season (missing only their penalty shoot-out win over Leeds in the previous round of the League Cup) and has made 76 appearances in total for the club since signing for them just over two years ago.


Tuesday’s referee will be Wiltshire-based Simon Hooper, who will take on only his fourth Hammers appointment – his only other matches involving West Ham were the 1-0 Championship home win over Coventry in January 2012, our 3-0 League Cup third round win over Bolton at London Stadium in September 2017 and, most recently, our 2-0 Premier League defeat at Bournemouth in January 2019.

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Hooper has refereed one match so far in 2020/21, that being Stoke’s 1-0 League Cup win at Wolves last week – he issued one yellow card in that game.

Possible line-ups

David Moyes is likely to hand a start to ex-Tiger Robert Snodgrass, while Jarrod Bowen could be in the squad to face his old club too.

Former Hammers midfielder and current Hull manager Grant McCann takes on West Ham for the first time as a manager. Ex-Hammers Reece Burke (the featured player in the Club Connections section above) and Martin Samuelsen could turn out for Hull. The Tigers have beaten Sunderland and Leeds, both away from home and both on penalties, to reach this third round tie.

The winners of this encounter will face a trip to either Fleetwood or Everton in the fourth round.

Possible West Ham United XI: Randolph; Johnson, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Masuaku; Cullen, Snodgrass; Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Anderson; Haller.

Possible Hull City XI: Ingram; Coyle, Burke, Jones, Elder; Batty, Docherty; Scott, Honeyman, Samuelsen; Wilks.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!