Competition – FA Cup Fourth Round
Venue: Ashton Gate Stadium – Sunday, January 25 – 14:00
Match Odds: Bristol City 3/1 – Draw 13/5 – West Ham 19/20
Bristol City play host to the Premier League’s surprise package of the season, West Ham United, on Sunday afternoon in what should be a classic FA Cup tie.
Both sides had the trouble of playing a replay in the third round this month and could do without another one as both are chasing high finishes in the league.
Bristol City’s home record in all competitions: Played 17 – Won 13 – Drawn 2 – Lost 2
Bristol City lie second in League 1 and are looking good for a promotion this season. They come into the game in fine form off the back of an unbeaten run of seven and they have won six of those.
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However, Steve Cotterill’s men should see this game as a pleasant distraction from the league and a chance to cause a great cup upset in front of their own fans will be the target this weekend.
West Ham’s away record in all competitions: Played 11 – Won 3 – Drawn 5 – Lost 3
West Ham have had a slight lapse in form of late but did well to overcome Everton in round four. The Hammers are unbeaten in five but have had to settle for draws in four of those matches.
They had Carlton Cole to thank in the replay against Everton as he scored within a minute of coming on, and then converted his spot kick in the shootout, and Cole could get a start at Bristol this weekend.
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Sam Allardyce’s side are bringing defensive problems into this game, as James Tomkins and James Collins are both doubtful, and the Hammers have not kept a clean sheet away from home all season.
These two sides last met three years ago when both sides were in the Championship and played out a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate on that day. The Hammers have not lost in any of the last ten meetings between the two, winning five.
Bristol City’s last five in all competitions: D/W/W/W/W
West Ham’s last five in all competitions: D/D/D/D/W
Key Stat: West Ham has failed to win in their last seven FA Cup ties.
Key Player: Alex Song – Since returning to the Premier League he has settled into this West Ham midfield superbly and has provided stability, as well as a lot more freedom for Mark Noble. He should be the difference in winning the midfield battle if he starts.
Bristol City vs. West Ham United Prediction: Bristol City 1 – 2 West Ham United – The Hammers to edge it and seal their place in the next round.