West Ham have been drawn against AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup second round this evening. The tie which will take place at Kingsmeadow is set to be played the week commencing August 27th.
The Dons, who were ball number two are unbeaten in League One this season. They defeated Fleetwood Town 1-0 in their opener before drawing 0-0 with Coventry City. They overcame Portsmouth 2-1 to progress to the second round, thanks to Joe Pigott’s strike and an 88th minute own goal from Anton Walkes. Since reforming in 2002 -after Wimbledon FC had been relocated to Milton Keynes and became MK Dons- AFC Wimbledon have never played against the Hammers. Having regained their place in the Football League in 2011, the Dons had not progressed past the first round before this campaign.
This match could be seen as an opportunity for West Ham to give some talented youngsters, such as Josh Cullen, Nathan Holland and Xande Silva some game time. It is also a chance to continue acclimatising the club’s summer signings to their new surroundings, with the likes of Issa Diop and Lucas Perez not having played any competitive minutes for the Hammers at the time of writing. Manuel Pellegrini will be keen to progress past this round in pursuit of West Ham’s first major trophy since 1980.
Last season’s Carabao Cup campaign may not have brought a trophy, but it was eventful for the Hammers. They comfortably navigated their way past Cheltenham Town and Bolton Wanderers, winning 2-0 and 3-0 respectively. They then met Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in the fourth round in what turned out to be one of the club’s best and most exciting matches of the season.
With 38 minutes on the clock against Spurs, West Ham found themselves 2-0 down following strikes from Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli. However, a brace from Andre Ayew, which was completed on the hour mark, got West Ham right back into the tie. Ten minutes after the equaliser, Italian centre back Angelo Ogbonna rose above Son Heung-min, Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld to head Manuel Lanzini’s corner ball past Michel Vorm. The Hammers managed to defend their lead, setting up a quarter final tie away against Arsenal.
However, David Moyes –who had taken over from Slaven Bilic- decided to rest key players against the Gunners. Unlike his predecessor Bilic, the Scotsman’s sole aim was the Premier League. This was clear to see, as the inform Marko Arnautovic was given just seven minutes at the end of the tie. It turned out to be an anticlimactic finish to the club’s Carabao Cup campaign, as a scrappy Danny Welbeck goal in the 42nd minute secured Arsenal’s progression to the semi final from what was a very tame affair.
The Hammers have never won the League Cup before in their history, coming second place twice. However, their manager Pellegrini has been successful in the competition. The Chilean tactician won the tournament in two of his three campaigns with current Premier League champions Manchester City.
Pellegrini will be hoping he can continue his impressive record in the competition with a win against AFC Wimbledon.
Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Premier League Fantasy Managers? If you’re up to challenging the best then play www.fantasy-premier.com now!