The Hammers will tonight take on Altona 93 in a match which should show how far they have come in pre-season and give a further clue on how we may line up for the new season.
With Javier Hernandez and Winston Reid possibly involved in cameo roles, the Hammers are starting to look in decent shape although both Manu Lanzini and Mark Noble are still missing along with Diafra Sakho – who despite that has been named in the squad – is not expected to be involved.
Altona are a non Bundesliga team who will be hosting the match in their 8,000 capacity stadium but most of us now have our eyes on the game against Manchester City in Iceland on Friday.
Tonight’s opposition are a team we really should overcome with little fuss although there’s always the danger in games such as this that the opposition may take it more seriously than they should given that it’s a one off “big game” for them.
Altona 93 are the third biggest team in Hamburg after Hamburger SV and St Pauli. They have a relatively large following for a fifth tier club and their biggest achievement was reaching the semi-final of the German Cup in 1975 and 1964.
In previous games the Hammers have changed the team entirely at half time of played the first side for 60 mins and the second for 30 alternated over the two legs against Werder Bremen.
Tonight that could be increased to 70/20 and if so we would expect the 70 minute side to look to look something like this: Hart; Zabaleta, Ogbonna, Rice, Masuaku; Cullen, Obiang, Fernandes, Arnautovich, Ayew and Martinez.
The match will be shown live on Premier Sports. Coverage will begin five minutes before kick off at 5.25pm.
There’s only one…er Altona 93!
Sheesh that place looks spooky. Don’t use the toilets/showers at halftime.
I think they will save most of the players for Fridays game against City, could be a youthful first 70 minutes ?