The FA Cup is a competition West Ham United should take a bit more seriously than usual this year given their comfortable position in mid-table in the Premier League. With their last major trophy coming way back in 1980, the Hammers are due a good run in the competition and should have no issues against AFC Wimbledon in the fourth round on Saturday.
West Ham win to zero @ 23/20
Manuel Pellegrini’s men have already made the trip to Kingsmeadow once this season and totally outclassed the Dons in their EFL Cup tie, running out 3-1 winners. A defeat in front of their own fans has become the norm for Wimbledon this year as they currently boast the worst home record in League One.
That has played a big part in their slide to the foot of the third tier standings and they have been soundly beaten in their last two outings on their own patch, most recently losing 3-0 to Fleetwood.
It hasn’t always been easy to predict what West Ham are going to do this season, their loss at Bournemouth last week coming off the back of an excellent 1-0 triumph over Arsenal. They are no strangers to a cup upset either having lost two of their last three meetings with third tier opposition.
However, with the Hammers scoring in eight of their last 12 away from home and Wimbledon struggling for goals, the East Londoners should side-step this banana skin.
Man City -2 @ 2/3
Unsurprisingly, no team in the country has scored more goals than Manchester City this season, recently breaking the 100-goal barrier. A sizeable chunk of those goals came in the 7-0 thrashing of Rotherham in the last round of the FA Cup, a result which kept up their average of scoring four goals a game in their last seven third and fourth round matches
If that wasn’t ominous enough for Saturday’s opponents Burnley, Pep Guardiola’s men have also managed to score at least twice in all but one home game this season, while at the other end they have kept five clean sheets on the bounce.
With Burnley having been hammered 5-0 on their last trip to the Etihad Stadium and Clarets boss Sean Dyche likely to make changes in the fight for Premier League safety, City are fancied to rack up another sizeable win.
Accrington Stanley double chance @ 10/11
The fourth round draw hasn’t thrown up too many potential giant killings but one fixture that looks primed for a cup upset is Accrington’s home game with Derby.
Stanley’s form has not been good recently, winning just one of the last six matches. That victory was in the FA Cup though, knocking out Championship side Ipswich.
They now play host to a Derby team who rode their luck when seeing off Southampton at the previous stage, while Rams boss Frank Lampard has promotion firmly on his mind and is likely to make numerous changes.
With the Crown Ground hardly the ideal playing surface and a chance to shine in front of the TV cameras, Stanley are worth taking a chance on to at least force a replay.
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