The venue, Globe Arena source
After a disappointing start to the season, we face potential further humiliation as we travel to Morecambe for a Capital One Cup second round match. In previous seasons, we have been beaten by lower league opposition too often as Brighton have knocked us out of the FA Cup twice, while we have also been beaten by a League Two side in the form of Stevenage. However we have won our last 12 second round ties in the League Cup, with our only loss at this stage coming against Middlesbrough in the 1990/91 season. The last time we played at this stage was during the 2011/12 season as we knocked out Scunthorpe in extra time thanks to a goal from Sammy Ameobi.
During our opening two Premier League matches we have failed to score while only hitting the target once, not that I’d count it as Tioté’s shot against City was going wide before Hart saved it. The team looks void of confidence, to be fair I’d probably be the same if I had Pardew as a boss. We really do need to a convincing win in the cup to inject some belief before the Fulham game. The team looks like it’s still recovering from such a bad campaign last time around so a few goals could really help us move on from the disaster of last season.
In last year’s Capital One Cup, we were knocked out by Manchester United at Old Trafford in a game that ended 2-1 after Papiss Cissé grabbed a consolation before nearly equalising with an overhead kick. Hopefully this season will finally see us follow sides like Wigan, Bradford and Swansea and have a major cup run.
A bit about Morecambe
The Lancashire club have been plying their trade in League Two since the 2007-8 season after being promoted in 2007. They are managed by Jim Bentley who has been in charge of the club since 2011. Their best finish to date was 4th during the 2009-10 but they lost their play-off semi final 7-2 on aggregate to Dagenham and Redbridge. Last season, they finished 16th in League Two. They are captained by Mark Hughes who is an Everton academy graduate who managed to play in the Premier League for Everton. They are 19th after picking up 4 points from 4 games. They won 2-0 at the weekend against Exeter. In the first round of the Capital One Cup, they knocked out Wolves.
We will still be without Yohan Cabaye (transferitis), Cheick Tioté (groin), Jonas Gutiérrez (hamstring), Massadio Haïdara (knee) and Loic Rémy (calf). With Fulham on Saturday, we may seek to play a few of our fringe players in a typical Pardew-in-the-cup style. I’d expect Paul Dummett to start at left back while Davide Santon could be tried in his more natural position on right back. I also hope we see Haris Vučkić and Gaël Bigirimana get their first starts of the season. I’d also be surprised if Rob Elliot doesn’t play. Shola is probably dead after 90 minutes against Fulham so Cissé should start. The big question about the team tomorrow is: will we find Romain Amalfitano? And maybe even give him a run out…
The referee is Mark Haywood who refereed us twice in the Championship year, with both matches ending in victory for us so hopefully we keep up that record against Morecambe to proceed to the next round.
The game is live on Sky Sports 1, and live radio commentary will be on BBC Radio 5live.
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