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Newport County v West Ham United – Carabao Cup – Tuesday, August 27 (7:45pm) – Preview
MANUEL PELLEGRINI is expected to ring the changes ahead of West Ham United’s Carabao Cup second round tie with Newport County at Rodney Parade. However, some big names are still expected to feature in his starting line-up again the Welshmen.
Striker, Albian Ajeti, will feature following his £8m move to east London from Basel. Meanwhile, Aaron Creswell, Jack Wilshere, Pablo Zabaleta and Fabian Balbuena could also be in line to play against a Newport County side which has gleaned a reputation as a ‘cup side’ in recent seasons.
Indeed, Newport has beaten Middlesborough and Leicester City at Rodney Parade in recent seasons, while Tottenham Hotspur were fortunate enough to earn a replay following a 1-1 draw.
Winger, Michail Antonio, was fully aware that Newport was eyeing up another giant-killing act against the Hammers: “It definitely won’t be easy at Newport. In the last couple of years, they drew with Tottenham and beat Leicester so they’re a team that always goes for that cup dream, but hopefully, they won’t against us,” he told www.whufc.com
Once again, an air of confidence surrounded the Sky bet League Two side: “We’ve got a fantastic opportunity to play against another Premier League team and we’ll give it our best shot,” manager, Michael Flynn, told www.newport-county.co.uk
“It’s a nice distraction from the league and it’s a free hit. It’s nice to be out there in the public eye, this game is massive for the football club, and it’s good that we’re on SKY Sports.
“It’s going to be a really difficult game against a really good West Ham team. You don’t know who they’re going to play but you always look at the experienced ones, players like Mark Noble who’s just come back, Declan Rice, Aaron Cresswell might play.
“I think they’ll mix it up a little bit, but they’ve got bags of talent and we won’t be focusing on just one individual because we’ll come unstuck if we take our eye off somebody else.
“They’re littered with top players and the pitch is looking in great shape. I want the boys to go out there and test themselves against top footballers.
Flynn continued: “West Ham are quality operators. We’ve got to make a game of it, we’ve got to go and give it our best shot. They will have possession, they will pin us back and I’m under no illusions about that.
“When we can get in their faces and close the space, that’s what we’ll do.
“It’s a fantastic atmosphere at Rodney Parade. The fans are loud, supportive and that’s the key thing. It shows we’re all in it together.”
Newport County v West Ham United – Head to head:
Newport County won: 1
West Ham United won: 1
Last five meetings (all competitions):
February 8, 1947 – Division Two
West Ham United 3-0 Newport County
April 19, 1947 – Division Two
Newport County 1-1 West Ham United
January 9, 1979 – FA Cup third round
Newport County 2-1 West Ham United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Newport County 0-2 West Ham United