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Hammers should smash woeful Bolton

West Ham's Javier Hernandez
1 of 1

Third-round matches
From 7.45pm Tuesday 

West Ham have not won a major cup competition since 1980 but are capable of making an impact in the 2017-18 League Cup and can cruise into the fourth round with an easy victory over Bolton at the London Stadium.

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic will use his squad with Saturday's Premier League clash at home to Tottenham in mind but has plenty of strength-in-depth, especially in attack.

Fringe attackers Diafra Sakho and Andre Ayew were both on target in the 2-0 victory at Cheltenham in the second round and high-profile summer signing Marko Arnautovic should make his first start since being dismissed in last month's 3-2 loss at Southampton.

The League Cup has been a source of light relief for Bolton, who are propping up the Sky Bet Championship after taking two points from eight games.

However, they rode their luck in a first-round 2-1 success at Crewe, losing the shot count 11 to four, and won 3-2 at home to Sheffield Wednesday in round two despite being out-shot 22 to 11.

The Trotters face a big step up in class against West Ham and could be overwhelmed, allowing the home side to cover a 1.5-goal Asian handicap deficit.

Brentford are just two points and two places about Bolton in the second tier but have played much better than their league position of 22nd suggests, and can raise morale by winning at home to divisional rivals Norwich.


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The Bees romped to a 4-1 victory at QPR in the last round and their slick football may give them an advantage against the Canaries, who have lost two of their last three away matches.

Middlesbrough drew 0-0 away to Aston Villa in a Championship fixture last Tuesday and can go one better by beating the Villans in a League Cup tie at Villa Park.

Boro were on the back foot last week after their enigmatic winger Adama Traore was dismissed in the fourth minute after an
over-zealous challenge on Conor Hourihane.

Garry Monk's side are likely to be more offensively minded this time and could have the edge over Villa, who have failed to score in their last two home matches.

Recommendations
West Ham -1.5 on Asian handicap
2pts 9-10 bet365
Brentford
2pts 13-8 bet365, Hills
Middlesbrough draw no bet
1pt 5-4 BoyleSports


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Boro were on the back foot last week after their enigmatic winger Adama Traore was dismissed in the fourth minute
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