After winning yet again in the Premier League, West Ham now turn their attention to the FA Cup as they welcome Doncaster Rovers to the London Stadium. The Hammers beat non-league side Stockport County 1-0 in order to set up the 4th round tie.
Doncaster are currently battling for promotion out of League One. The Donny’s beat Championship side Blackburn Rovers in the previous round. The last time they faced the Hammers was in the Championship in 2012, that game ended 1-1 at the Upton Park. West Ham won the reverse fixture at Keepmoat Stadium 1-0 that season.
West Ham are the clear favourites for the match, but Doncaster does have an ace up their sleeve. In the 1-1 draw between the sides, James Coppinger was the Donny’s goalscorer. The now 40-year-old is still playing for the club and will be relishing a chance to double his tally against West Ham.
The winner of the tie between West Ham and Doncaster will have a Hollywood fixture against either Liverpool or Manchester United.
Hammers Team News
David Moyes has no new injury concerns in the first-team going into the match. The Scot is likely to use the tie to rotate his team. This would be to give rests to some of the first-teamers who have recently played a lot of football.
Michail Antonio could be dropped from the starting eleven, so he will be fresh for the game against Crystal Palace next week. This move could mean a chance for Andriy Yarmolenko to be given a chance in the striker position. The manager would have hoped to have signed a new striker by now but will instead have to experiment.
The other position that could be rotated heavily is at centre-back. Craig Dawson and Angelo Ogbonna have played every minute of football since the match against Southampton. Moyes could give chances to Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop to impress.
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Predicted Starting XIs
West Ham United Formation | 4-4-1-1
Fredericks Balbuena Diop Johnson
Lanzini Rice Noble Fornals
Taylor Richards Simões
Halliday Anderson Butler John
Doncaster Rovers Formation | 4-2-3-1
Match Prediction: West Ham 3-0 Doncaster Rovers
Even with a rotated side, any potential starting eleven will be full of Internationals and experienced top-level players. Moyes’ side will be the heavy favourites, especially as they will be playing on the turf at the London Stadium and not in the trenchlike conditions of Stockport in the previous round.
The Hammers should overcome Doncaster with ease, and Yarmolenko could get a couple of goals. The Ukrainian flourishes against teams that sit back as the Donnys are likely to do. The game should be won with only one goal as the Hammers defence still looks very solid even without Ogbonna, Dawson and Coufal.
It took a late header to beat Stockport, this time round the Hammers should find themselves grabbing a few goals to advance into the next round.