Sam Allardyce’s Hammers find themselves wearing thin ahead of their fixture against Cardiff tonight. Key midfielders Joe Cole and Stewart Downing have only just returned to training, and therefore find themselves unfit to play in tonight’s Capital One Cup game.
The Hammers will also have to do without central midfielder Mark Noble, after he was awarded a red card at the weekend in the 3-2 loss at home to Everton.
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay is also expected to make a number of changes to his squad after a disappointing 1-0 loss to Tottenham on Sunday, which saw Paulinho steal the game in the dying moments.
In terms of current form, both sides have started the season on level terms, having won one, drawn two and lost one of their first five Premier League matches.
Tonight’s fixture is of the utmost importance for both teams, but in particular for Cardiff as they reached the final back in 2012, only to lose so cruelly to Liverpool in a penalty shoot-out.
KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 7.45pm.
PAST THREE MEETINGS...
West Ham 2 (Cole, Nolan) Cardiff 0, Premier League, August 2013
West Ham 3 (Nolan, Vaz Te, Maynard) Cardiff 0, Championship Play-Off, May 2013
Cardiff 0 West Ham 2 (Collison 2), Championship Play-Off, May 2012
West Ham have won 8 out of 10 of their last League Cup matches played at home.
Cardiff have lost both their matches to London clubs this season.
West Ham have not won in the league for four games.
West Ham to win: 2.1
Cardiff to win: 3.9
TV: Highlights on Wednesday 25 September, BBC One 23:05-00:05, ‘The League Cup Show’.