We take a break from the Premier League tonight to welcome Sky Bet League Two side Oldham Athletic to the Brentford Community Stadium in the Carabao Cup. Both sides could create a little bit of EFL Cup history this evening with The Latics looking to make Round Four for the first time since 2003 while we've never before reached the Last 16 in consecutive seasons. All the build-up to tonight's game can be found below.
Boundary Park is not a happy place right now with Oldham Athletic propping up the EFL and protests against The Latics' ownership intensifying with every passing week.
On the pitch, Keith Curle's side have taken four points from their opening eight Sky Bet League Two matches. Oldham have lost six times already with their points coming courtesy of an away win at Sutton United late last month and Saturday's goalless draw at home to Hartlepool United.
At this early stage of the season, Oldham are already four points from safety with the least potent attack, scoring four, and leakiest defence, conceding 14, in the fourth tier. Dylan Bahamboula (three), Carl Piergianni (two) (pictured above), and Junior Luamba (one) are the only Latics to find the net in any competition so far this term.
Their progress in the EFL Cup has come via a pair of penalty shootout wins. In Round One they overcame Tranmere Rovers following a 2-2 draw before getting the better of Accrington Stanley on spot-kicks after a goalless 90 minutes.
Off the pitch, anger is growing at the ownership of the Lemsagam family who, in just over three years, have overseen Oldham's drop from League One mainstays to League Two relegation candidates.
Writing for Hot Off The Press, Boundary Park Alert System Podcast's Matt Dean said: "The star man last season was definitely Dylan Bahamboula (above). He can be very quiet and then BAM, he’s gone and done something magic! He’s definitely the danger man for Oldham and can really be a joy to watch. Having said that, the one to watch, for me, is young Harry Vaughan. Harry is only 17, he’s still small in stature, but he’s one of those ‘natural’ footballers; a low centre of gravity, turns on a sixpence and you can see how much he loves playing the game"
Shandon Baptiste serves his one-match suspension tonight while Mads Bech (knee) and Josh Dasilva (hip) are also out. Thomas Frank confirmed yesterday that Zanka will make his full debut tonight in a changed, but still strong, XI.
The injuries are mounting up for Oldham with Nicky Adams, Danny Rogers, Sam Hart, Harrison McGahey, Ouss Cisse, and Jamie Hopcutt all missing the weekend's Hartlepool game.
Keith Curle is Oldham's eighth different manager since the start of the 2018/19 season.
Curle has been involved in the professional game for 40 years as player and manager. He made more than 800 professional appearances during his playing career, most notably for Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers during the 1990s. The central defender earned three England caps and was part of the Three Lions Euro 92 squad, playing against eventual winners Denmark in the opening game.
Curle stepped into management with Mansfield in 2002 before stints at Chester City and Torquay United. Between 2007 and 2012, Curle was on Neil Warnock's coaching team, first at Crystal Palace and then QPR, before taking the top job at Notts County. A year at Meadow Lane preceeded a four-year stay at Carlisle United and then, in October 2018, a move to Northampton Town. It was at Sixfields where Curle won his first promotion as a manager, Charlie Goode lifting the Play-Off Final Trophy at Wembley following a 4-0 win over Exeter City. A poor run in League One saw Curle sacked in February, the month before he took charge at Oldham.
THE OPPOSITION VIEW
Keith Curle told oldhamathletic.co.uk: "They got to the semi-final last season, so they will not be taking this competition lightly.
"If you have a look at the statistics, we've lost six league games but won three in the cup, so it proves that it's all to play for against Brentford. We know what we've got to do in order to be successful and we've gone over a lot of things in training that have weighed in our favour; it starts with our mental attitude to accept the challenges that Brentford will pose"
Referee: Simon Hooper
Assistant Referees: Daniel Robathan and Robert Hyde
Fourth Official: Tom Nield
Oldham Athletic 21/22
104 fouls - 3rd most in Sky Bet League Two
19 yellow cards - 4th most in Sky Bet League Two
0 red cards - Joint-fewest in Sky Bet League Two
Tickets for tonight's game are on General Sale with fans able to buy up to six tickets each.
Arrive before 6.45pm and save big on food and drinks at the stadium with pints, sausage rolls, and pies all available for just £3.50
Due to broadcast regulations, tonight's game is not available to watch in the UK or internationally.
The only way to follow the action away from the Brentford Community Stadium is with an iFollow audio match pass.