Tuesday evening will see the first ever meeting between Accrington Stanley and West Bromwich Albion and, of course, the Baggies’ first ever visit to the Wham Stadium for the second round tie of the newly-named Carabao Cup.
Stanley, made famous by the Milk Marketing Board television advert in the 1980s, were originally formed in 1891 and were a league club between 1921 and 1962 before going into liquidation in 1966. The current club was formed two years later and were finally promoted to the Football League in 2006. The Baggies have not played against the club in either of their incarnations, although they did play against the unconnected Accrington FC who were founder members of the Football League.
The Lancashire club finished in mid-table in League Two last season, but have started this season well winning all three of their home games, including a 3-2 win over Championship side, Preston North End, in the first round of the Carabao Cup. They lost their only away game at Yeovil Town and currently sit in sixth place in the fourth tier. Albion will need to be aware of Kayden Jackson who has scored four goals in four games since joining from Barnsley this summer, along with Northern Irishman, Billy Kee, who has also been on form with three goals so far this season.
Albion followed up their opening day win over Bournemouth with their first win at Turf Moor since 2002. The performance in Burnley wasn’t to the same standard as on the opening day, but a solid defence once again proved key.
All Baggies fans will hope that they can avoid a repetition of their short stay in the League Cup last season which came to an end at this stage with defeat on penalties to Northampton Town.
There are likely to be a few changes to the team but Pulis is unlikely to make wholesale changes, especially given that the squad is still not as large as he would like. I would expect to see Rondón and, perhaps, Chadli in the eleven as neither player has started either game so far, with Chadli only featuring as an unused substitute in both games so far.
Claudio Yacob and Gareth McAuley are both unavailable through injury, while Man City target, Jonny Evans, and James Morrison are slight doubts but could feature from the bench if fit enough.
Having started both Premier League fixtures, Sam Field may be given a rest on Tuesday, but I would expect to see Rekeem Harper and Jonathan Leko play some part in the match.
Having lost in both cup competitions at the first hurdle last season, Albion fans are eager for a cup run to add some excitement to the season. The positive start will have raised expectations but Albion have only been past the third round of the League cup once since their run to the quarter finals in 2010.
Accrington Stanley should not pose a problem for the Baggies, but we thought that about Northampton Town last season. Nonetheless, I’m going for an Albion victory, and hopefully a comfortable one.
All competitions; most recent game on the right
This is the first meeting between the clubs.