Hammers Can't Be Plonkers At Rodney Parade

West Ham are the latest big team to brave Newport's Rodney Parade ground, the League Two side have been giant killers on more than one occasion. Manchester City eventually dispatched Mike Flynn's side in the fifth round of the FA Cup, but not before Leicester and Championship club Middlesbrough had been beaten in Wales.

Newport's only appearance in the League Cup third round came in 1962-63, but Manuel Pellegrini will be only too aware of the problems they could face against a club who have history, and home advantage, on their side. The last time the two sides met Newport ran out 2-1 victors in the third round of the FA Cup in January 1979.
Despite a raft of changes, Hammers should be in the hat for the next round as Manuel Pellegrini's side have progressed from 11 of their last 12 ties against fourth-tier opposition in this competition, and won 8-0 against Macclesfield Town at the same stage last season.

One of the players due to get a run out won't be playing due to either a 'knock' or a 'virus' is Javier Hernandez, his place will be taken by new signing Albian Ajeti, Hernandez's absence is seem by some to indicate the player may leave the club before the European transfer deadline.

"Javier had, during a training session on Thursday, a problem in his knee, it was a kick,” Pellegrini said."I don't know if he will be fit for Tuesday but on Wednesday he should be working with the team again.”

With Sebastian Haller as West Ham’s main man up front already, if Ajeti does impress tonight in Hernandez’s absence then it could be that the £16 million striker (London Evening Standard) becomes third choice forward at the London Stadium, a situation that his agent does not want.

Releasing Hernandez's £140,000 per week wages could do the club a power of good, but the conundrum is to sell him he, he has to be playing! - Ed


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