West Ham United face the live TV cameras hungry for an upset when they travel to Newport County tonight with only two survivors from Saturday’s win over Watford.
West Ham fans were not surprised when their Carabao Cup clash with League Two Newport was selected for live coverage.
Of course many Hammers fans will be grateful of the fact given Newport’s 7,850 capacity at Rodney Parade.
Live on Sky for one reason only
The match between the Irons and the Ironsides will be shown live on Sky Sports tonight with the TV cameras predictably baying for another West Ham banana skin.
The Hammers are their own worst enemies in that respect.
All too often the East Londoners give TV bosses good reason, with last season’s humbling against AFC Wimbledon a case in point.
Every year fans say the same thing ‘We should be attacking the cup competitions with our strongest team’. And rightly so.
But every year, no matter who is in charge, West Ham take the same risk as a host of their Premier League counterparts by resting a raft of players.
Hammers boss urges player focus
Yes West Ham have a strong squad which should be able to cope with 11 changes if need be and still beat Newport.
But as the Welsh side showed against Tottenham and Leicester last season, they have what it takes to cause an upset.
Manuel Pellegrini wants to attack the cup and has called on his players to be fully focused.
An experienced team will take to the field against Newport. The Chilean is not doing a Sam Allardyce and throwing the kids in en masse.
The team will however be extremely rusty.
Rice and Diop the only Watford survivors?
In fact there looks set to be just two survivors from West Ham’s 3-1 victory over Watford on Saturday – the club’s only win of the season so far.
Issa Diop and Declan Rice look set to remain in the side with nine changes around them from Roberto in goal to Albian Ajeti up front.
Expected West Ham starting XI to face Newport tonight:
Roberto, Zabaleta (or Johnson), Diop, Balbuena, Cresswell, Snodgrass, Rice, Wilshere, Fornals, Antonio, Ajeti.