Five Talking Points - Accrington Stanley

five talking


Good cup runs

West Ham United have a good association with the League Cup (now called the EFL Cup) and manager Slaven Bilic is clearly targeting a lengthy run in the competition.

Over the last five-years the the Hammers have reached the semi-finals on two occasions where they were beaten by Manchester City in 2014 and Birmingham back in 2011.

The Hammers have also reached the Final on two occasions, but lost out to West Brom in 1966 and Liverpool back in 1981.

Can the Hammers reach Wembley once again and win major silverware this season?

Impressive record against fourth-tier opponents

The Hammers have good reason to be optimistic ahead of tonight's game as they have an impressive record against League Two opposition.

West Ham have won seven of their last nine League Cup ties against fourth-tier opponents.

The one loss was a 2-1 home defeat against Aldershot in 2011.

Win for confidence

The Hammers have not enjoyed the best of starts to the campaign losing four of their opening five league games and the EFL Cup provides the perfect opportunity to help them get back on the winning trail.

Defeats against Chelsea and Manchester City were not completely unexpected, but it has been the manner of the last two results against Watford and West Brom which has surprised Slaven Bilic and his backroom staff.

But the Hammers boss is well aware that a victory over Accrington Stanley will restore some much needed confidence to the squad ahead of the next Premier League home game against Southampton on Sunday.

Debuts for Arbeloa and Fernandes

Slaven Bilic confirmed in his pre-match press conference that he would make some changes for the Accrington game and reward some of the players who have not been given an opportunity to impress in the opening part of the season.

New signings Alvaro Arbeloa and Edimilson Fernandes are set to make their first appearances following their summer moves to the Club.

Arbeloa has a wealth of experience having won the World Cup with Spain and Champions League with Real Madrid and will hopefully strengthen the defence.

Fernandes arrives with a big pedigree and has a great chance to impress Bilic and play his way into first-team contention.

Randolph ready for action

With the Hammers suffering a shock exit from the Europa League last month, Darren Randolph is keen to impress once again and show the quality that saw him become the number one keeper for the Republic of Ireland at the European Championship Finals during the summer.

Having signed a new contract at the start of the season, Randolph is set to make his first appearance since the Astra Giurgiu defeat.

Randolph comes into the game full of confidence having earned a man of the match performance in Ireland's last World Cup qualifier against Serbia when they secured a 2-2 draw.