Slaven Bilic’s Hammers return to Carabao Cup action tonight for the visit of Phil Parkinson’s Bolton Wanderers, with a place in the Fourth Round of the competition to play for.
We go into the tie unbeaten in three of our last four games in all competitions after Saturday afternoon’s 0-0 draw at The Hawthorns. Whereas, The Trotters sit rock bottom of the Sky Bet Championship after a disastrous start to their first campaign back in the Second-Tier.
The encounter is due for a kick-off time of 7:45 PM on Tuesday 19 September in East London, with no TV or live radio coverage of the tie scheduled in the UK.
However, you can keep up with the action through our first ever Live Blog from The London Stadium, bringing you live text commentary right here on MooreThanJustAClub.com from Stratford.
The tie will take place at our 66,000-seater London Stadium, a ground which we only currently have access to 57,000 seats of due to violent clashes during home games with Watford and Chelsea last season.
Since moving to Stratford in summer 2016, we have endured turbulent times as poor form and crowd disturbance has marred the stadium’s reputation.
To add to this, Bilic’s Boys were forced to play the first four games of the season away from home due to Stratford hosting the 2017 World Athletics Championship.
Tuesday will unsurprisingly be the first time that a Trotters side have visited The London Stadium, as it hosts its first Carabao Cup encounter of the campaign.
Slaven Bilic confirmed in his pre-match presser yesterday afternoon that James Collins’ injury from The Hawthorns will be enough to keep him out tonight, with Andy Carroll also not featuring on a precautionary basis.
However, there is some good news regarding Manuel Lanzini for the Claret & Blue Army as he is expected to return, with the possibility of young Swiss midfielder Edimilson Fernandes also making his injury comeback and skipper Mark Noble returning.
Whereas, for the visitors, the loanee duo of Reece Burke and Josh Cullen are ineligible to play against their parent club, after featuring regularly in the Championship so far in this campaign.
Elsewhere, Phil Parkinson is going to put a very strong starting Xl out according to sources, as the tie could prove to be a vital distraction from league woes for his team.
Despite our superior league position compared to The Wanderers, the overall record between the two sides makes for grave viewing for Hammers.
Out of the 67 times that West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers Sides have met, The Trotters have been victorious on 35 times, with 22 Hammer wins and 10 draws.
Surely our most notable meeting with the Lancashire club came in 1923, the fabled “White Horse Final” where it is estimated that around 300,000 spectators descended on Wembley Stadium for the first time for an FA Cup Final.
Just like on that day, the last time that we faced the Trotters we were defeated back in the relegation season of 2010/2011. Goals from Daniel Sturridge and Lee Chung-Yong proved to be the difference that day, as we faltered at a ground that we have never won in.
Having enjoyed a fantastic start to their life as a club, Bolton Wanderers have become a typical yo-yo side in recent seasons as their form has rapidly declined.
In recent times, Bolton have gone from knocking the likes of Atletico Madrid out of The UEFA Cup in 2008 to relegation to England’s third-tier in 2016.
However, they are now back in the Sky Bet Championship but after losing six of their first eight, the four-time FA Cup winners sit rock bottom of the pack and will go in search of a much-needed confidence boost in East London tonight.
Who Is Officiating?
Experienced EFL Referee Simon Hooper will be the man in the middle, with Adam Crysell & Akil Howson as his Assistants and Graham Horwood playing the role of Fourth Official.
So, with the scene set for our first home cup tie of the campaign, will we manage a second win in 18 encounters with The Trotters? Or, can our “Bogey Team” produce an unlikely shock?