AFC Wimbledon vs West Ham United Preview: Manuel Pellegrini's men continue to search for first win of the season

AFC Wimbledon vs West Ham United Preview: Manuel Pellegrini's men continue to search for first win of the season

Manuel Pellegrini's men will travel to AFC Wimbledon for the second round of the Carabao Cup, hoping to get off the mark in the Pellegrini era.

Josh Slinger

Both AFC Wimbledon and West Ham United have had troubled starts to their league campaigns, with the home side picking up just one win from five league games, and Manuel Pellegrini's men yet to get off the mark in terms of points in the Premier League.

This EFL Cup encounter will offer a break from the so far miserable league campaigns and could be seen as a potential confidence booster for both sides, here is everything you need to know ahead of Tuesday nights clash.

Early season injury woes for the Hammers

Despite having a poor start to life under Pellegrini, there has also been insult added to injury for the East-Londoners, as many first-team players have become unavailable for this one. Starman Marko Arnaoutovic has joined Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini, Andy Carroll, and Mark Noble on the list of players expected to be unavailable on Tuesday, as he picked up an injury away at Arsenal on Saturday.

As for Neal Ardley's men, who overcame Portsmouth to win 2-1 at Fratton Park in the last round,  there are no injury concerns, meaning they're free to use this as an opportunity to test themselves at full strength against Premier League opposition - the potential for one of the shocks of the round. 

A differing approach from the two sides?

Often in the early rounds of the EFL Cup, few Premier League sides take the competition seriously, and look at is as a way to give minutes to non-first-team regulars, meaning that Pellegrini could also opt to do the same in this fixture to get a better knowledge of the depth of his squad. 

With this being said, it is also unlikely that the Chilean manager will changes things up too much, as a win is almost crucial following a nightmare start to the season, and could be used to help them kick on further in the Premier League if they can get a boost in confidence. 

The Dons are unlikely to field a much weaker side and are likely to go full strength in front of a home crowd who will no doubt be fired up for the rare occasion of a visit from a top-flight club.

To add a little more spice to this second round fixture, it could also be considered a derby as the two London clubs clash, meaning that potential bragging rights between some sets of supporters could be at stake.