All you need to know: West Ham United kick-off pre-season with double-header
West Ham United kick-off their pre-season schedule with a unique fixture double-header on Tuesday afternoon.
The Hammers’ first-team squad will be split in half, with one group of players facing EFL Championship new boys Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park, and the other tackling League One side Ipswich Town at Portman Road. Both matches will kick-off at 2pm.
With pre-season reduced from the normal seven weeks to just four due to the scheduling changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, manager David Moyes is eager to get his players as much game-time as possible ahead of the new Premier League season, which begins on 12 September.
How to follow
Ipswich Town will stream the visit of the Hammers through their website here. However, supporters should note the live streaming is not available to those living in Sweden, Norway, Slovenia, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia, Brazil, Israel, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Honduras as the game is being shown live in these countries on TV.
Highlights of both games will be available on whufc.com and the Club’s YouTube channel.
Manager David Moyes will split his squad in half on Tuesday, with a view to getting his first-team players valuable game-time ahead of the Premier League kick-off at home to Newcastle United on the weekend of Saturday 12 September.
Fresh from a five-day training camp in his native Scotland, Robert Snodgrass will hope to feature for the first time since before lockdown. The midfielder missed the Premier League restart due to a back injury.
The likes of Josh Cullen, Conor Coventry, Gonçalo Cardoso and Jamal Baptiste could also feature after travelling to St Andrews last week.
The opposition (1) - Wycombe Wanderers
Wycombe Wanderers won promotion to the second tier for the first time in their 133-year history in July.
Buckinghamshire-based Wanderers were a non-league club until as recently as 1992/93, when they won the Conference title and promotion to the old Football League Division Three.
The Chairboys spent the next 27 years in the third and fourth tiers before defeating Oxford United 2-1 at Wembley in the League One Play-Off final last month.
Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth is the longest-serving manager in the EFL, having been appointed on 24 September 2012. The 47-year-old initially joined the Chairboys as a player in November 2009 and captained them to promotion from League Two in 2011, before taking over as player-manager the following year.
He will lose that title this season, however, as the manager of EFL League Two new boys Harrogate Town, Simon Weaver, was appointed in May 2009.
The opposition (2) - Ipswich Town
Ipswich Town will begin their second season in EFL League One in September, having been relegated after 15 seasons in the Championship in 2019.
The Suffolk-based club were crowned champions of England for the one and only time in 1962, and followed that by winning the FA Cup in 1978 and UEFA Cup 1981 under the management of the late Sir Bobby Robson.
The Tractor Boys are now managed by former Borussia Dortmund and Scotland midfielder Paul Lambert in September 2018, with the 51-year-old becoming the first individual to manage both Ipswich and their local rivals Norwich City.
The Ipswich squad includes Academy of Football graduate Freddie Sears, who played 58 times for West Ham between 2008 and 2012. The 30-year-old has made 188 appearances for Ipswich since moving to Portman Road in 2015, scoring 31 goals.
West Ham United have faced Wycombe Wanderers just three times previously in competitive fixtures, with the most recent meeting taking place on 7 January 1995, when Tony Cottee and Kenny Brown got the goals in a 2-0 FA Cup third-round win at Adams Park.
The Irons did visit Adams Park as recently as 14 July 2018, though, when Marko Arnautovic scored the only goal in a 1-0 pre-season victory.
The Hammers also visited Portman Road in summer 2018, with Felipe Anderson scoring his first goal for the Club and Arnautovic netting the winner in a 2-1 pre-season victory over Ipswich Town.
The last time West Ham tackled Ipswich in a competitive fixture was on 31 January 2012, when the Tractor Boys ploughed through the Irons defence to secure a 5-1 Championship win at Portman Road.