The reliable club source claimed that there will be a number of changes from the side that picked up all three points in the 2-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.
Responding to a question from a Hammers’ fan regarding academy players in the starting line-up, ExWHUemployee simply replied, “one starting.”
It is no real surprise to see only the one academy graduate start against Oxford, as Pellegrini did name a strong side in the second round tie against Newport County. The Chilean is blessed to have decent squad depth this season, and experienced players such as Pablo Zabaleta and Jack Wilshere will most likely be involved from the beginning. The Hammers will be determined to make a statement in the cup competitions this year, and even try their best to win a piece of silverware, and although playing youngsters could be benefitial, it won’t win you trophies. The most likely academy graduate to play is Ben Johnson, who despite impressing in pre-season as not been given the chance in competitive action as of yet. The 19-year-old could fill in at left-back after Aaron Cresswell impressed against Manchester United, and Arthur Masuaku lost his spot because of suspension in that game. Despite only one youngster reportedly starting, Hammers’ fans will be hoping to see the likes of Conor Coventry and Nathan Holland on the bench after their phenomenal starts to the season in the academy.