West Ham United welcome Bolton Wanderers to the London Stadium on Tuesday night for a Carabao Cup third round clash. Both teams will see the competition as an opportunity to excite their fans after difficult starts to their respective league seasons.
The Hammers got off to a terrible start in the Premier League, losing each of their opening three games, including a 4-0 thrashing away to Manchester United. However, they appear to have found their footing with four points from a possible six in their last two matches.
Bolton, meanwhile, sit rock bottom of the Championship, without a win in eight league encounters. They have lost six times, have just two points, and are on a five-match losing streak. But, having knocked out Sheffield Wednesday and Crewe Alexandra, they have shown they can win in knockout action.
West Ham boss Slaven Bilić could be able to call upon key midfielder Manuel Lanzini once again with the Argentine slowly getting back to full fitness. However, he will not be able to select James Collins, as the centre-back is set to be out for a month due to injury.
The Hammers manager has expressed his delight at having Andy Carroll available, but he may not utilise the target man this evening. “We have to manage him,” he said. “He (Carroll) looks good and fit, hopefully he will last for ages now without an injury, touch wood. He isn’t going to play tomorrow.”
Bilić will likely persist with the rough 3-4-3 system that led to the recent upturn in form. The back three could include Winston Reid, José Fonte and Angelo Ogbonna, backed up by Joe Hart.
Mark Noble could return in central midfield to partner Cheikhou Kouyaté, while the wing-back roles should be taken up by Pablo Zabaleta and Aaron Cresswell.
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Kick-off at the London Stadium is at 7:45pm, but the match will not be televised.