In a mid-2017/2018 season fundraising friendly, David Moyes’ West Ham United travel to face their East London neighbours Dagenham & Redbridge under John Still as the hosts look to raise funds to avoid going into administration having fallen on hard financial times.
The Daggers are fresh from last Tuesday night’s league defeat at the hands of Halifax Town, while the Hammers go into the clash off the back of a home Premier League defeat to Burnley 11 days ago, after which they travelled to Miami for warm weather training, the away side are the overwhelming favourites for this one.
The friendly encounter is scheduled to take place tonight (Wednesday 21 March 2018), with a kick-off time of 7:30 PM and unfortunately, no live television coverage available for viewing in the United Kingdom.
There will also be no live radio commentary available to listen to either, but never fear, if you head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter, you can be sure to find live build-up, updates and reaction throughout the evening from Essex.
The visit of the Irons will be held at Dagenham’s home stadium of the Chigwell Construction Stadium, formerly known as Victoria Road and situated in Dagenham, Essex.
The ground has a rich history, opening all the way back in 1916 and with a capacity of just over 6,000, it has been the home of the Daggers since their formation in the early 1990s.
Aside from hosting the club’s home matches, it is also the permanent home of West Ham’s U23s and has been since the start of the 2016/2017 season, when they’re not playing their three matches per season at London Stadium, of course.
Moyes’ men have never journeyed to the arena competitively before, though Hammers Xls have played out numerous pre-season friendlies there, including before that start of the 2017/2018 campaign when the visitors triumphed through Jahmal Hector-Ingram and Dan Kemp cancelling out a Mason Bloomfield penalty.
Both bosses have vowed to put the strongest teams they can out for the exhibition match, home manager Still is expected to go with an Xl very similar to the one that was defeated at the Shay Stadium.
Defender Bondz N’Gala will be looking forward to the occasion, being a product of the Academy of Football, while youngsters such as midfielder Tyrique Hyde and attacker Jordy Mongoy will be keen to impress against to the Top-Flight outfit.
Meanwhile, Moyes is missing no fewer than ten of his first-team due to International commitments during a three-week break for his side, meaning the likes of Manuel Lanzini, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez will all be missing.
Ex-UEFA Champions League winner Patrice Evra is expected to feature, however, so too club captain Mark Noble and England Internationals Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio, a selection of U23s will reportedly also get a run-out.
The first-teams of Dagenham & Redbridge and West Ham United have never met before competitively, given that the former has only been in existence for just over 20 years.
The last encounter between the two of any kind came in the summer of 2017, the aforementioned meeting of Dagenham and a West Ham Xl, these type of matches have been played numerous times down the years.
The home side are in the better form of the pair, triumphing in two, away and home wins over Torquay United and Chester City, and being defeated in three, trips to Dover Athletic and Halifax and a home tie with Tranmere Rovers, in their last five outings.
Whereas, the East Londoners have been on the losing side in four of the last five times they have taken to the field, leaving Brighton, Liverpool and Swansea empty-handed and only beating Watford at home, also suffering a London Stadium defeat to the Clarets.
Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club was formed in 1992 when two local clubs, Redbridge Forest and Dagenham merged, they have endured a rollercoaster ride of an existence since.
Starting out in the Conference, the team suffered relegation to the Isthmian League within three seasons of being founded, getting back up to the Conference in 2000, where they would remain for the next eight years.
The Daggers finally made it into the Football League for the first time in 2006/2007 after many tries, earning a remarkable second promotion to League One via the play-offs in 2009/2010, though since years later returning to non-league in the wake of two relegations.
Nowadays, under experienced manager Still for his third spell in charge in East London, the club currently sit 11th in the National League, neither at risk of being relegated or with a chance of promotion, a strong position if you forget money troubles.
So, now that the Chigwell Construction Stadium scene has been well and truly set for an exciting night of friendly football, can the National League hosts shock their Premier League opposition on their big night?
Or, will the travelling Hammers show their true might to spoil the party for the Daggers in Dagenham? Think you know? Be sure to head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter to cast your late score predictions and join the pre-match discussion.