WEST Ham manager Sam Allardyce hopes his patched-up team can frustrate Manchester City into submission in tonight’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg.
City have won all 10 of their Premier League home matches this season, scoring almost four goals per game on average.
The Hammers, meanwhile, are struggling at the foot of the table as they battle an injury crisis, but Allardyce hopes to replicate his team’s dogged approach to their 2-1 win at rivals Tottenham in the previous round and overcome free-scoring City to boost their chance of reaching Wembley.
“We don’t have to beat them on Wednesday night, we have to come back with something realistic to beat them at home if we can,” he said.
“We have to stay as focussed as we can and we have to nullify what is a great attacking force at home.
“We’ve got to get a team out that has competed exceptionally well in this competition throughout, none more so than what we did in the last round against Tottenham, so if I can get a performance like that from the players then we will be in with a chance.”
Allardyce intends to hand a debut to loan defender Roger Johnson, while midfielder Mark Noble could return after a calf problem.
Striker Sergio Aguero and full-back Micah Richards have overcome calf and hamstring injuries but are not ready to start for City.
The home side will also be without winger Jesus Navas, who has a knee injury, and striker Stevan Jovetic, but defender Martin Demichelis is available after a hamstring problem.