Tough tests for loan pair

Two of West Ham United's young loan stars will be back in Coca-Cola Championship action this evening.

Central defender James Tomkins is expected to make his third appearance for Derby County when the Rams travel to table-topping Wolverhampton Wanderers. The 19-year-old has started three league and cup matches for Paul Jewell's side, helping the east Midlands team through to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup.

England Under-19 international Tomkins, who is enjoying his time at Pride Park after joining on a month-long loan, said: "I think I've settled in quite quickly and I'm just looking forward to the next few games now. Derby County are a very big club and the facilities are spot on. It's important now that they push on up the league."

While he is relishing his opportunity to play regular first-team football with 16th-placed Derby, Tomkins is keen to force his way into Gianfranco Zola's thoughts at the Boleyn Ground.

"I have got high expectations of myself. I played a handful of games in the Premier League last season," he added. "It may only be a little bit of experience but it is still good experience which will help me coming into a Championship team. I am loving the experience of getting more games here at Derby."

Elsewhere, Hammers winger Kyel Reid also faces a tough test tonight as his Blackpool side travel to third-placed Reading.

The left-sided Reid set up the Tangerines' second goal in their 2-0 win over bottom-side Charlton Athletic on Saturday. Simon Grayson's 15th-placed team have won both of their matches since the 21-year-old joined them on a month-long loan deal on 26 November.

Elsewhere, central defender Bondz 'Gala will be in action on Friday evening when League One promotion-chasers MK Dons travel to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Two of West Ham United's other loanees, defender Jordan Spence and midfielder Josh Payne, will face one another when Leyton Orient host Cheltenham Town in League One this Saturday.