Oxford United match preview

West Ham United v Oxford United
Carling Cup second round
Tuesday 24 August, 7.45pm
Referee: James Linington
Match coverage - WHUTV - live audio commentary and post-match action and reaction, whufc.com - live text commentary


• West Ham United begin their 2010/11 Carling Cup challenge with the visit of League Two new boys Oxford United to the Boleyn Ground. It is the cheapest home match for the Hammers in more than a decade with tickets at £5 for kids and £10 for adults.

• This evening's tie must be settled on the night. Should the scores be level after 90 minutes, then 30 minutes of extra time will be played. Should the scores remain level, a penalty shoot-out will be contested.

• The Hammers are aiming to kick-start their season after tasting defeat in each of their opening two Barclays Premier League fixtures. An opening-day defeat at Aston Villa (0-3) was followed by a disappointing home reverse against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday 21 August (1-3).

• Oxford United have contested three npower League Two matches this season on their return to the Football League following a four-year absence.

• Tonight's meeting will be the first time West Ham and Oxford have faced one another since 23 March 1993, when the Us scored a surprise 1-0 Division One victory at the Manor Ground courtesy of Andy Melville's 85th-minute winner. Melville would go on to play for West Ham, helping the club to gain promotion to the Premier League in 2004/05.

• West Ham's biggest-ever win over Oxford United came in the same season - 1992/93 - when Clive Allen, Tim Breacker, Julian Dicks (two) and Trevor Morley all scored in a 5-3 victory at the Boleyn Ground on 21 November 1992. Melville scored for Oxford, while John Durnin and Jim Magilton were also on target in the Division One fixture.

• All of Oxford's four victories over West Ham have been by a single-goal margin - the most recent being the aforementioned success in March 1993.

• West Ham United have been giving their support to the England 2018 campaign by endorsing 'Back the Bid' week ahead of the FIFA Inspection Team's arrival in England this week. The club helped raise the Bid profile before Saturday's match against Bolton Wanderers as the England 2018 team step up their campaign with a series of events and campaigns.

• The draw for the Carling Cup third round will take place on Saturday 28 August. The seven English clubs involved in European competition will enter the tournament along with the 25 second-round winners. Third-round ties will be contested in the week commencing Monday 20 September 2010.

• The 2010/11 Carling Cup final will be held at Wembley on Sunday 27 February 2011.

Team news

West Ham United

• West Ham United manager Avram Grant will again be without Thomas Hitzlsperger after the 28-year-old picked up a thigh injury during Germany's international friendly draw in Denmark earlier this month.

• Hungary Under-21 goalkeeper Peter Kurucz has joined Jack Collison and Zavon Hines on the long-term injured list after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament while playing for the reserve team against Ipswich Town on 14 August.

• It remains to be seen whether Matthew Upson will be fit enough to be involved this evening following the facial injury he suffered playing against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday. Upson was kicked in the face by Kevin Davies and suffered a severe nose bleed, as well as damage to his lip.

• Tal Ben Haim and Manuel da Costa could be in contention for tonight's game. Both have been training fully in an attempt to regain full match-fitness.

Oxford United

• Oxford goalkeeper Simon Eastwood will miss this evening's match after suffering an ankle injury in training. Teenager Nathan Silver was named as a substitute for Saturday's goalless League Two draw at Wycombe Wanderers.

• Right-back Damian Batt also looks likely to miss tonight's game after hobbling off with an ankle injury early in Saturday's league match.

• Midfielder Sam Deering could miss tonight's fixture after missing Saturday's trip to Wycombe Wanderers. Reports suggested Deering was left out after arriving late for the team meeting ahead of the visit to Adams Park.

Previous meetings

• The most recent meeting between the two sides was on 23 March 1993, when 9,506 supporters saw Andy Melville score the only goal of the Division One game in a 1-0 Oxford United victory at the Manor Ground.

The lineups were:
Oxford United: Reece, Robinson, Ford, Lewis, Evans, Melville, Phillips, Beauchamp, Narbett, Cusack, Durnin

West Ham United: Miklosko, Brown, Potts, Gale, Dicks, M.Allen, Holmes, Butler, Keen (M.Robson), Speedie, Morley

• Tonight marks the 15th time West Ham and Oxford have faced one another in competitive fixtures, and the third in the League Cup. West Ham have won eight, Oxford four and there have been two draws. In this competition, each side has tasted success once.

Overall record

v Oxford United (all competitions) W 8 D 2 L 4

Last time out

• West Ham United were beaten 3-1 on Saturday by Bolton Wanderers in the Barclays Premier League. Carlton Cole saw his 33rd-minute penalty saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen before Matthew Upson's 48th-minute own-goal put Bolton ahead. Johan Elmander added a second before Mark Noble pulled a goal back from the penalty spot with eleven minutes remaining. Elmander then settled matters with a left-foot finish five minutes from the end.

21 August 2010
Barclays Premier League
West Ham United 1-3 Bolton Wanderers
West Ham: Green, Faubert, Gabbidon, Upson (Reid 54), Ilunga, Barrera, Parker, Noble, Dyer (McCarthy 77), Piquionne, Cole (Sears 86)
Subs not used: Stech, Tomkins, Kovac, Boa Morte

• Oxford United picked up an npower League Two point from their short trip to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday. The Us had by far the better of the game, with Matt Green hitting the bar and Wycombe goalkeeper Nikki Bull producing fine saves to deny both Green and captain James Constable.

21 August 2010
npower League Two
Wycombe Wanderers 0-0 Oxford United
Oxford: Clarke, Batt (Purkiss 11), Tonkin, Wright, Worley, Bulman (Baker 65), Heslop, Hall, Constable, Midson, Green (Potter 81)
Subs not used: Silver, Creighton, Clist, Cole

West Ham United

• West Ham United are likely to name a strong starting XI for tonight's tie as new manager Avram Grant seeks his first victory of the 2010/11 season.

• The Hammers have so far brought in five new players this summer - Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, Mexico winger Pablo Barrera, France forward Frederic Piquionne, New Zealand defender Winston Reid and Israel defender Tal Ben Haim, who has arrived on loan from Grant's former club Portsmouth.

• Grant managed Chelsea to the League Cup final in 2007/08. The Blues took on Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, but despite taking the lead through Didier Drogba, a Dimitar Berbatov penalty and Jonathan Woodgate header denied Chelsea the trophy.

• West Ham have reached the Football League Cup final twice - in 1965/66 and 1980/81. The 1966 final was played over two legs, with the Hammers beating West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at the Boleyn Ground before being beaten 4-1 at The Hawthorns. In 1981, West Ham drew 1-1 with Liverpool at Wembley before being defeated 2-1 at Villa Park in the replay.

• West Ham jointly hold the records for the biggest home win and biggest home score in League Cup history. Both records were achieved when the Hammers defeat Bury 10-0 in the second round, second leg at the Boleyn Ground on 25 October 1983. Tony Cottee scored four times, Trevor Brooking and Alan Devonshire twice apiece and Alvin Martin and Ray Stewart - with a penalty - once each. Liverpool also recorded a 10-0 win over Fulham at Anfield on 23 September 1986.

• West Ham possess the ninth-best record in League Cup history. The Hammers have contested 192 ties, winning 98, drawing 39 and losing 55. West Ham have scored 358 goals and conceded 232 in those matches.

• Former West Ham striker Sir Geoff Hurst is the League Cup's all-time joint record goalscorer with 49 goals - 43 of which were scored for West Ham and six for Stoke City. Ian Rush has also scored 49 - 48 for Liverpool and one for Newcastle United - in this competition.

Oxford United

• Oxford United returned to the Football League following a four-season absence earlier this month. The Us were relegated from League Two in 2006, but a 3-1 Conference National play-off final victory over York City at Wembley in May saw the club regain their League status.

• Oxford brought in two new players following their promotion to the Football League. Midfielder Simon Heslop was snapped up on a free transfer from Barnsley, while forward Danny Philliskirk has arrived on loan from Chelsea.

• The Us were originally elected to the Football League in 1962. The greatest moment in the club's history came in 1985/96, when Oxford lifted the Football League Cup at Wembley following a 3-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers.

• Oxford have the 22nd best record in the history of the League Cup. The Us have contested 153 ties, winning 68, drawing 36 and losing 49. Oxford have scored 226 goals in those matches, conceding 192.

Ten-year League Cup records

West Ham United

2009/10 Third round (lost 1-3 after extra time at Bolton Wanderers)
2008/09 Third round (lost 0-1 at Watford)
2007/08 Quarter-final (lost 1-2 v Everton)
2006/07 Third round (lost 1-2 at Chesterfield)
2005/06 Third round (lost 0-1 at Bolton Wanderers)
2004/05 Third round (lost 0-1 at Chelsea)
2003/04 Third round (lost 0-1 after extra time at Tottenham Hotspur)
2002/03 Third round (lost 0-1 v Oldham Athletic)
2001/02 Second round (lost 6-5 on penalties following 0-0 draw at Reading)
2000/01 Fourth round (lost 1-2 v Sheffield Wednesday)

Oxford United

2009/10 Did not enter
2008/09 Did not enter
2007/08 Did not enter
2006/07 Did not enter
2005/06 First round (lost 0-1 at Gillingham)
2004/05 First round (lost 0-2 v Reading)
2003/04 Second round (lost 1-3 v Reading)
2002/03 Third round (lost 0-3 v Aston Villa)
2001/02 First round (lost 1-2 v Gillingham)
2000/01 First round (lost 3-2 on aggregate v Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Old boys

• Oxford United coach Andy Melville played 21 times for West Ham United between January and September 2004. The former Wales centre-back also enjoyed a successful three-season stay with Oxford between 1990 and 1993, playing 159 times and scoring 15 goals.

• Among the other players who have represented both clubs are Joey Beauchamp, Ray Houghton and Emmanuel Omoyimni.


Referee - James Linington
Assistant referees - Mike George & Rob Whitton
Fourth official - Warren Atkin

• James Linington was appointed to the Select Group of assistant referees in 2006, but has yet to be promoted to the Select Group of referees who officiate in the Barclays Premier League. For that reason, Linington will be taking charge of a West Ham United first-team fixture for the first time in his career this evening.

• After giving up playing at the age of 15, Linington moved into refereeing and originally specialised in being an assistant referee through his career in the professional game.

• After running the line in the 2006 League One play-off final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, the official took charge of the 2010 League Two play-off final between Dagenham & Redbridge and Rotherham United at Wembley in May this year, having joined the National Group as a referee in 2008.

• Linington has already officiated once on live television this season, taking charge of Charlton Athletic's 3-1 League One victory at Leyton Orient on Friday 13 August.

• This evening, Linington will be assisted by Mike George and Rob Whitton.

Next up

• West Ham United travel to Old Trafford on Saturday to face Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League. The fixture, which will be broadcast live by ESPN, kicks-off at 5.30pm.

• Oxford United will return to League Two action by hosting Accrington Stanley - the club they replaced in the Football League in 1962 - at the Kassam Stadium, kick-off 3pm.