Let’s just stop for a moment and consider the fact that this afternoon the Irons will be without seven key players.
Now, despite the face we are playing a lowly Championship outfit, I wonder whether we would have been as upbeat had the same position existed last season.
I know it’s become a cliche but there rally is no other way of putting this: “Look at how far we have travelled since the end of last season.”
The bookies have us at around 5/4 for the win (which is value in my book) despite us being without Andy Carroll (adductor), Enner Valencia (ankle), Diafra Sakho (thigh) , James Tomkins (calf) and Joey O’Brien (hamstring), Winston Reid (hammie) and Sam Byram cup-tied.
However, midfielder Manuel Lanzini is fit after a hamstring injury and is set to be on the bench.
Likely team: Randolph, Antonio, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Noble, Kouyate, Obiang, Moses, Payet, Antonio.
That we approach the game in such a positive frame of mind is a most un-Hammers like but anything other than an away win is difficult to predict in my book.
And despite the lack of strikers I can see Payet, and Lanzini later causing all sorts of problem to the Rovers defence, who may find themselves conceding free kicks in very dangerous positions.
Hugh’s prediction 0-2