On Matchday Ten of the 2017/2018 PL2 Division One season, Terry Westley’s high-flying Hammers welcome a tricky Derby County side to East London, in what promises to be an exciting night of Youth Football at a prestigious venue.
The young Claret & Blue starlets head into the clash off the back of an impressive Checkatrade Trophy away victory over Bristol Rovers, whilst The Rams tasted Pride Park defeat to Nottingham Forest in The Premier League Cup last time out, making the hosts the clear favourites.
The exciting matchup will take place tonight (Friday 17 November 2017) with a kick-off time of 7 PM GMT and as is custom with U23 games, no Television Coverage will be available in The UK.
Unfortunately, there will also not be any mainstream Radio Commentary of the encounter being broadcast, however, you can stay right here for our Live Blog with all of the build-up, Live Text Commentary, and reaction from Stratford.
The visit of Darren Wassall‘s men will take place at the first-team’s London Stadium, with a capacity of 57,000 and the option to go high into the 70,000’s it is one of the most spectacular Arenas in English football.
Originally opening in 2012 for The London Olympics, the Ground’s Footballing existence has been somewhat marred by violence and crowd unrest, not to mention supporter’s attitudes towards it.
This was catalysed early in this season when the Senior Claret & Blue stars were forced to play the first four games of the season away from home due to Stratford hosting The World Athletics Championships.
But, The Stadium is slowly starting to feel more like home for The Claret & Blue Army, and under new Premier League rules, the youngsters will get a further chance to play there this campaign, having already defeated Manchester United at The London Stadium last month, it will be the first time that any Derby side has visited.
Terry Westley was hit by a major injury blow earlier in the week as exciting young winger Nathan Holland tore his hamstring in training, just days into the reign of new Manager David Moyes at Rush Green.
Most of The Development Squad have been training with their Senior teammates over the last fortnight and aside from that, there are no new major injury doubts for the youngsters to contend with for the League meeting.
Meanwhile, Darren Wassall’s young Rams picked up no new fresh injury worries over the course of The International Break, with Kyle McAllister the only doubt ahead of the trip.
Returning for County will be Alex Babos whose duties with Wales U19s forced him to miss the Forest defeat, in addition to Offrande Zanzala as he came back from his loan with Chester last week and is expected to play some part.
The Development Squads of West Ham United and Derby County have only met twice since the re-shuffle of Football at that level which began two years ago.
Out of the two encounters, our Hammers have not been beaten, winning 3-2 in 2015 at Rush Green and following that up a year after with a 1-1 away draw, meetings have been few and far between.
Unlike Derby’s first-team, their younger generation of players have managed to maintain their position in the highest tier of Youth Football over the past few seasons.
Currently, under the Management of experienced former Manchester City star Darren Wassall, they are sitting in sixth position, five points adrift of Westley’s boys and nine off Liverpool at the top.
Perhaps the biggest thing that the young side have to boast is their elegant part Training Base and occasional home Ground, England’s St George’s Park National Football Centre.
Also known for their involvement with Moor Farm, regarded to be one of the best Youth Development Centres in the Country, they have produced such notables as Tom Huddlestone and Stoke City keeper Lee Grant in recent years.
So, with The London Stadium scene now and well and truly set for its second taste of PL2 action this season, can the young Hammers go second with another memorable victory?
Or, can the young Rams cause a shock in East London to give their season a boost? Head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter to get your score predictions in and join the pre-match debate.