It is now time to analyze last night’s tricky away victory over Cheltenham Town in The Carabao Cup in a little more detail, as we take a look at some of the key Talking Points from the tie.

Outstanding Rice The Shining Star At Whaddon Road

Measured, collected and simply brilliant, Declan Rice certainly is attracting the attention of the Football World at the moment, and he added to the hype last night with yet another fantastic performance in midfield.

The versatile 18-year-old displayed the different dimensions of his game against a stern Cheltenham Town side. Rice was strong in defence and broke up many of the hosts’ attacks, but he also looked bright going forward and played a number of important balls into our forwards.

The Republic of Ireland International has also been likened to fellow Academy Graduate Reece Oxford, who broke through similarly in the summer of 2015 during Slaven Bilic’s first few months in charge.

However, Rice will surely be hoping to remain in and around the first-team structure this season and not be continuously sent out on loans like Oxford himself and fellow bright prospects Josh Cullen and Reece Burke.

So, with Rice playing a major part in us keeping a surprisingly impressive Robins attack at bay, will he keep his starting place against Newcastle United at a Ground where he has very fond memories? As first-choice midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate makes his return from a knee injury.

Sakho Influence Vital For Hammers Attack

One man’s performance that was certainly very hard to ignore was of that of Diafra Sakho, as the former Senegalese International has seemed to have fallen back in favor with his body, his game, and his management.

The 27-year-old was making his full return to fitness and the starting Xl, showing us exactly what we had been missing over the two-year period that he has battled with injuries over. Sakho was in fine form at Whaddon Road as he scored our opener on 41 minutes with a fantastic turn and finish before assisting Andre Ayew for our second.

Although the born finisher has been heavily linked with a move to Continental Europe in recent weeks, there were indications from Slaven Bilic that he could be starting on Saturday as he was taken off in just the 64th minute last night.

So, could we see the dream partnership of Diafra Sakho and Javier Hernandez up top together for the very first time at St James’ Park on Saturday?

200 Up For Collins In A Flawless Showing In Gloucestershire

Veteran centre-back James Collins put in a superb Man of the Match performance in The Carabao Cup last night, as he reached 200 appearances in Claret & Blue on his 34th birthday.

The ever-dependable Welshman was on-song with a classic dominant performance both in the air and on the ground in central-defence, getting his head to many a Robins’ deliveries and breaking up much of their attacking play.

Despite this, “Ginge” has been starved of first-team action recently, with the likes of Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna, Jose Fonte and Declan Rice getting in ahead of him.

However, with the injury to Reid and recent poor form of Fonte, the Wales International could be considered for a starting place against Rafa Benitez’s men on Saturday.

Collins’ Hammers career has consisted of two spells that have spanned over 12 years and it would only seem fitting if he was given a regular starting place in what will be his final season at The London Stadium in all likelihood.

Cheltenham Triumph Sets Up Trotters Tie

A bizarre six hours after the full-time whistle in Cheltenham, the Draw for The Fourth Round of The Carabao Cup was finally made in China, as we were drawn at home against Sky Bet Championship side Bolton Wanderers.

This time around, we will be allowed to play our home tie at The London Stadium, after last night’s encounter needed to be switched to The LCI Rail Stadium.

In the last two seasons, we have not entered the League Cup until The Third Round, due to our involvement in European Competition making our Second Round victory a rarity.

So, with yet another winnable encounter set up in the next Round for Bilic’s boys, many fans are beginning to question whether it will finally be our season to win a Major Trophy after a 37-year wait.