Carling Cup fifth round
West Ham United v Everton
Wednesday 12 December
Referee: Mark Halsey
WHUTV - Full match commentary. See Alan Curbishley and hear the views of Lucas Neill, Tony Gale and Ray Winstone. Click here to login or register. The match will not be broadcast live on television in the UK.
Freddie Ljungberg comes back into contention for Alan Curbishley after being rested for Sunday's 1-0 win at Blackburn Rovers. The manager was mindful that fellow right-sided midfielder Nolberto Solano is cup-tied alongside Henri Camara. Carlton Cole is eligible to play despite his five cautions this season, with his one-match ban coming against Middlesbrough on 22 December.
Dean Ashton will be pushing for a starting role after his winning goal off the bench at the weekend. The manager has also reported positive news on Bobby Zamora, who is back running again at Chadwell Heath. Julien Faubert is also running with the manager pleased and hopeful he is only a couple of weeks away from full training.
A decision will be made on the groin strain picked up by Matthew Etherington against Blackburn - a match James Collins missed out on for similar reasons but both could be in contention. Anton Ferdinand (hamstring) and Craig Bellamy (stomach) are still out although the former is closing on a return. The manager also said he has a decision to make in goal with Richard Wright, who has played in the three previous Carling Cup games, vying with Robert Green.
Everton are without Leighton Baines for six weeks because of a hamstring injury suffered in Saturday's 3-0 home win against Fulham. It is expected that Joleon Lescott will fill in at left-back, a position he knows well for club and country. Tim Cahill is fully fit again while there is plenty of competition for places with Andrew Johnson and James McFadden both on the bench at the weekend. Alan Stubbs remains out with a calf problem.
This is the first of the four Carling Cup quarter-finals, with the rest to be played next week. It has to be decided on the night, with extra time and, potentially, penalties waiting should the scores be level after 90 minutes. The tie was brought forward because of Everton's UEFA Cup commitments. The remaining fixtures will be Blackburn Rovers receiving Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur's trip to Manchester City on 18 December, the day before Chelsea take on Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
The semi-finals are scheduled to be played on 9 and 23 January, with the final set for Wembley Stadium on Sunday 24 February. Only the winners can earn a place in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup - provided they do not qualify for the Champions League via their league position.
West Ham United go into the game with just one defeat in their last eight games, that reverse at Chelsea that most neutrals felt was harsh on the visitors. The club have not conceded more than two goals in a game since the 3-1 defeat at Newcastle United on 23 September. Curbishley's men have still not lost this season in any match where they have taken the lead.
In terms of league positions, West Ham United are in tenth place, three places and five points behind Everton with a game in hand. The sides will meet again in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday. While the club have the best defensive record after Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in the top-flight, Everton are also doing well at the back with six clean-sheets in their last ten unbeaten games.
George McCartney is bidding to make his 19th appearance this season in all competitions - and is the only West Ham United player who has featured in every game to date, starting in each one. In terms of the Barclays Premier League, only Robert Green and Matthew Upson have played every minute of the 15 matches. Bowyer and Ashton are the club's top scorers with four goals.
Head to head (Last six Premier League meetings)
21 April 2007 - West Ham United 1-0 Everton
3 December 2006 - Everton 2-0 West Ham United
4 March 2006 - West Ham United 2-2 Everton
14 December 2005 - Everton 1-2 West Ham United
15 March 2003 - Everton 0-0 West Ham United
27 October 2002 - West Ham United 0-1 Everton
All-time record v Everton (all competitions) - W 36, D 23 L 56
The teams have been paired together once before in the League Cup. In the 1983/84 fourth round, the sides drew 2-2 at the Boleyn Ground before Everton won the replay 2-0 at home. Everton went all the way to the 1984 final, losing a replay 1-0 to Liverpool after a 0-0 draw in the first match. It was their second final defeat, having also lost the 1977 showpiece to Aston Villa. Apart from Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United - in 1966 and 1981 to West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool respectively - are the only other team to twice reach the final and not triumph.
Story so far
West Ham United
Fourth round - 30 October 2007 - Coventry City 1-2 West Ham United
(Hall og 71, Cole 90)
Third round - 26 September 2007 - West Ham United 1-0 Plymouth Argyle
Second round - 28 August 2007 - Bristol Rovers 1-2 West Ham United
(Bellamy 31, 45)
Fourth round - 31 October 2007 - Luton Town 0-1 Everton
Third round - 26 September 2007 - Sheffield Wednesday 0-3 Everton
(McFadden 59, 84, Yakubu 85)
Second round - bye
Supporters that have yet to purchase match tickets are advised that pay turnstiles will be available from 6.30pm onwards.
Pay turnstiles will be available from the following areas and turnstile numbers shown below. Seating costs either £43 or £45 for adults and £21.50 or £22.50 for Under-16s
Dr Martens Stand upper - 16/17/18 (Situated in the north-west corner) 28/29 (Situated in Castle Street)
Bobby Moore Stand upper - 46/49 (Enter via either Priory Rd or Castle St)
East Stand upper tier - 59/69 (Situated in Priory Rd)
Advance sales are high and we would therefore recommend that anyone attending on the night arrives as close to turnstiles opening as possible. Large numbers of supporters arriving late can cause congestion and, in the past, delays have been experienced entering the stadium.
For more information on getting to the Boleyn Ground, click here
Weather: The forecast for is for a clear but chilly evening. The temperature is expected to be around the 1C mark.