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Preview: West Ham United Under-23s v Rovers Under-23s

A look ahead to this evening's Premier League 2 Division 1 clash against the Hammers

23 October 2020

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Billy Barr's in form Under-23s side return to action later on this afternoon when they take on West Ham United's Development Squad.

Taking place at the Hammers' Rush Green training base, Barr's boys will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season in Premier League 2 Division 1 and record back-to-back away victories.

Having returned to the top table of Development Squad football this season, today's hosts have had a tricky welcome back to the division and are without a win in their opening four games of the campaign.

Rovers come into the game on the back of a narrow 1-0 win away at Southampton on Sunday, whilst this afternoon's encounter will be the Hammers' first game in three weeks.

In that contest before the international break, at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, the young Irons suffered a 3-2 loss.

Dmitri Halajko's outfit sit bottom of the table, whilst Rovers could go top of the division with a win depending on results elsewhere.

In terms of team news, Barr has no new injury concerns to contend with, with Joe Grayson once again expected to take the armband and continue his run in the starting XI.

The weekend match-winner, Connor McBride, is also expected to keep his place, with the Scot the top scorer in the competition so far this season with five goals to his name.

With a bolstered first team squad, there may be a chance for the likes of Hayden Carter and Luke Brennan to get minutes under their belts, whilst Brad Lyons could also return.

And speaking ahead of the test, Halajko believes that the three-week break has allowed his side to work on plenty of things as they bid to get off the mark with a win in the league.

“I think it could be good for us,” he explained to the West Ham official website. “We haven’t had a long period of training together as a squad yet, so we’ll be looking to work on the cohesion of the team.

“Hopefully, against Blackburn, we’ll have been able do to that and get ourselves all on the same page, which hopefully should enhance our performances moving forwards.”

Kick-off is at 2pm. Fans are reminded that there will be no access to the ground, with the game played behind closed doors at this time.

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