Reece Oxford will become West Ham's youngest ever player vs Lusitans

West Ham Upton Park

The Europa League match will be an opportunity for Slaven Bilic to cast his eye over several of the Hammers' young talents.

West Ham prepare for the beginning of a new era at the club with their Europa League qualifier against FC Lusitans on Thursday 2, despite their new manager Slaven Bilic taking a backseat role for the game.

It is the first match in what will be the final season at the Boleyn Ground, with the Hammers set to move to the Olympic Stadium for the 2016-17 season

Academy manager Terry Westley will take charge of the game with Bilic watching in the stands, and so it is no surprise to see several of the club's young players being named in the starting lineup, with at least three debuts for players from the start as was revealed on the club website yesterday.

Young prospects Reece Oxford and Lewis Page make their first appearances for the first team, while summer signing Darren Randolph featuring from the off. There could be other possible debuts coming off the bench.

Fellow youngsters Reece Burke and Diego Poyet will also start, along with several other first team fringe players, and all will know that an impressive performance tonight could see them considered by former Croatia manager Bilic once the season kicks off proper.

Burke and Poyet saw first team action last season, while Randolph is expected to be back up keeper to Adrian after arriving from Birmingham City and with Jussi Jaaskelainen departed.

Plenty of intrigue will rest on 16-year-old centre back Oxford, apparently playing in midfield, and 18-year-old left-back Page. The older academy member has impressed Westley and made 22 appearances for the Under-21 side last season.

Oxford has been labelled a potential star in the making, and he will become the club's youngest ever player when he takes to the field, breaking a 93-year-old record. He has captained the England Under-17 side, and has been linked to a host of top clubs in the past by the Mail.

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