Tonight West Ham United host Liverpool in the semi-final of the Under-21’s cup, with supporters able to attend for free, reports Holly Davies.
West Ham development manager Terry Westley has described this tie as ‘the biggest game’ of his West Ham career.
Both teams overcame three opponents to make it through to the semi-final. Liverpool defeated Brighton, Leeds and Sunderland, while the Hammers beat Exeter, Fulham and Blackburn.
As they play in a higher division Liverpool should be favourites to advance to the final, but considering the Hammers are at home and currently enjoying a great run of form, losing only once in 15 games, the sides seem equal as they go into Wednesday’s tie.
Liverpool will be hoping 20-year-old Jordan Ibe plays a part considering his talent and experience within the first team. The youngster played for the U-21’s against Manchester United last week after being overlooked for the first team’s Europa league fixture.
Another player who will be looking to make an impact on Wednesday night is striker Jerome Sinclair, who scored Liverpool’s only goal in the 1-1 draw against United.
West Ham are coming off the back of an impressive 4-1 win against Newcastle. Captain on the night, Marcus Browne, started the scoring and Westley told the official West Ham club website that Browne Browne “took the captaincy on well and really led from the first minute onwards”.
Browne is almost certain to start tonight after being taken off around the 60-minute mark on Friday, with preparation for Liverpool in mind. New striker Sam Ford was also replaced with 30 minutes to go, as he is expected to keep his place leading the line.
Kick-off is 19:00 at Rush Green tonight with free admission for all supporters.