West Ham look a completely different team to a month ago and they face Arsenal in tonight’s Carabao Cup game with cautious optimism. Coming as it does right in the middle of a run of very important games for both clubs the managers must balance the chance to win silverware against league priorities. My worry here is that Moyes will prioritise the games against Newcastle and West Brom and rest key members of the team. Moyes is a pragmatist and will have no problem justifying a weakened line-up. It would be a shame to lose the momentum of the last few games and while I can see the logic in making some changes I don’t want us to change the style we have played in.
Moyes has made us hard to beat and it must be same again regardless of the team Arsenal put out, Moyes has already confirmed Hart will start and hopefully this will give the much-maligned Keeper a chance to gain some confidence. Declan Rice will play a part either in defence or in midfield with Sahko and Ayew featuring.
The key weapon West Ham have utilised is pace on the break which probably means Andy Carroll won’t feature from the start but he does have a good record against Arsenal so could feature from the bench. I think Moyes play one of Arnautovic or Antonio but certainly not both but Lanzini’s forthcoming suspension may result in him featuring at the Emirates.
I see this game as an opportunity to continue our good run and to get within shouting distance of a trip to Wembley. How Arsenal approach this is anyone’s guess but it’s a mark of how far their stock has fallen that the League Cup represents one of the only chances of silverware this season, of course, both teams will look at the other games and see Manchester City looming in the back ground, I personally have nightmares of City’s forward line running at a central defensive partnership of George McCartney and Roger Johnson, but I can see West Ham getting through here and in the words of Kevin Kegan I would love it if we beat them, love it!