The FA Cup third-round clash is set to be hosted by West Ham against the EFL Championship side Bristol City. The game is scheduled to take place at the London Stadium with a 2 pm GMT kick-off on Sunday, January 7, 2024.
Fans should note that the match won’t be televised live in the UK. However, highlights will be available on the official X feed of the FA Cup, and a detailed analysis will be featured on BBC’s Match of the Day at 10:30 pm.
West Ham has been in sensational form this season and is competing for a Champions League spot or atleast a Europa League spot. While one would expect a Premier League side, especially one sitting in the top six, will be the favored one in the fixture, we cant overlook the fact that West Ham’s concerning squad depth could pose some challenges against an in-form and a full-strength Bristol City team. Moreover, even if they enter the fixture as underdogs, Liam Manning will spare no effort to make West Ham uncomfortable in their own home stadium.
David Moyes has orchestrated a very solid run of form for the Hammers, suffering just one defeat in last six games. Moyes’s side remains unbeaten in their last eight home matches, securing five clean sheets in their last six league and cup outings.
However, Bristol City on the flip side, have experienced an inconsistent festive period. After clinching three consecutive wins, Liam Manning’s City team witnessed their recent winning streak fade away resulting in two consecutive goal-less games including a late defeat at home to Millwall F.C. on New Year’s Day. Furthermore, they have lost four of their last six away games in the FA Cup. So, the past record is surely not on their side.
West Ham’s Last Five Fixtures-
- Win- West Ham vs Wolves: 3-0
- Loss- West Ham vs Liverpool: 1-5
- Win- West Ham vs Manchester United: 2-0
- Win- West Ham vs Arsenal: 2-0
- Draw- West Ham vs Brighton: 0-0
Bristol City’s Last Five Fixtures-
- Win- Bristol City vs Sunderland: 1-0
- Win- Bristol City vs Hull City: 3-2
- Win- Bristol City vs Watford: 4-1
- Draw- Bristol City vs Birmingham: 0-0
- Loss- Bristol City vs Millwall: 0-1
West Ham- David Moyes has ruled out Jamaica international Michail Antonio with a hamstring strain. Nayef Aguerd, Kurt Zouma, and Lucas Paquetá will also miss the match against Bristol City this week due to injury issues.
Bristol City- Liam Manning will be without Ross McCrorie due to illness, while Robert Atkinson is out with a cruciate ligament injury. Ayman Benarous and Kal Naismith have hamstring injuries, while Haydon Roberts has an ankle injury.
West Ham- David Moyes’ West Ham United could line up in their preferred 4-2-3-1 formation: Fabianski(GK); B. Johnson, K. Mavropanos, A. Ogbonna, Coufal ; E. Alvarez, T. Soucek; S. Benrahma, P. Fornals, , J. Bowen ; Ings
Bristol City- Liam Manning’s Bristol City is also expected to replicate the 4-2-3-1 formation: M. O’Leary (GK; G. Tanner, Z. Vyner, R. Dickie, C. Pring; J. Williams, M. James; J. Knight ,A. Mehmeti, T. Conway; N.Wells.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT-
Tomáš Souček- This battle is going to be won in the midfield and we can never write off Souček in that role. He has also scored five goals in 19 matches in the 2023/2024 Premier League season.
Jarrod Bowen –The English forward for West Ham United, has scored 11 goals in 19 matches in the 2023/2024 Premier League season. Bowen is currently fourth among EPL top scorers.
Zak Vyner- In the 2023/2024 Championship season, Vyner has played in 16 matches, starting all of them. He has conceded 16 goals and kept 5 clean sheets, which means his team concedes a goal every 90 minutes when he’s on the pitch. He also averages 1.00 tackles and 2.00 interceptions every 90 minutes.
Tommy Conway- He is the leading scorer for Bristol City, having scored 6 goals in 16 matches. The West Ham defense is going to have a task at hand to contain this forward.
West Ham and Bristol City have a historical record in various competitions that are mostly dominated by the Premier League side. This also includes a strong record in the FA Cup and other competitions. In terms of FA Cup encounters, West Ham won both previous meetings against Bristol City. The latest encounter occurred in January 2015, with Sam Allardyce’s side emerging victorious with a 1-0 win during a fourth-round tie. Bristol City has struggled against West Ham in their recent encounters, enduring an 11-game winless streak against them, stretching back to 1978.
- West Ham wins: 17
- Bristol City wins: 7
- Draws: 11
REACTIONS REGARDING THE CLASH-
Even though the past records favor West Ham, fans are aware not to become overconfident. Some supporters believe the upcoming match will be tougher than anticipated and should be treated as seriously as a cup final.
A fan on YouTube also echoed these sentiments, urging David Moyes that winning this trophy is certainly achievable for the Hammers and emphasizing that Moyes cannot afford to underestimate its significance.
Even the West Ham first-team coaching staff, Billy McKinlay, confessed it during the press conference, saying, “We are not underestimating anybody here. It’s difficult against Championship teams in the Championship and cup competitions. It’s going to be a difficult game.”
He has also revealed that “They (Bristol City) are in a good run since the last couple of games. It is going to be a difficult game, and we are really looking forward to it.”
With just a couple of days left for the clash, Tickets are already live on West Ham’s website ranging from £10 to £30.
David Moyes will be banking on their superiority to control the midfield and spread the game to the wider regions of the flank, where Benrahma and Bowen can deliver the central balls to Ings. However, Ings may find it challenging to make runs behind the defense as Bristol will likely adopt a more defensive approach. This game will test West Ham’s patience with the ball.
Bristol City is likely to adopt a defensive approach without the ball. After all, West Ham is rightfully the superior team and especially when playing at their home stadium, city have got to respect that. Having said that, West Ham also needs to be cautious of counterattacks and occasional penetrating runs. The city defenders is going to experience a challenging night in London as most of the game is expected to be played in their half.
However, this matchup has all the ingredients of an upset. While West Ham’s focus might be divided, Bristol City could seize the opportunity to disrupt the Premier League side’s rhythm. However, translating potential into goals will be their biggest challenge.
Therefore, all things considered, a 2-0 winning score for West Ham United will be a fair one.
West Ham’s Win: Apparently, the majority of the audience does not anticipate an upset and is going with the expected flow. Most bookies are supporting the Hammers’ victory and the odds are already available on major platforms.
According to Bet365, West Ham has a winning chance of 1.4. A 1.4 winning odds mean you profit a $0.4 bet on every $1 bet. Similarly, BetFair has also predicted a 1/3 odd on West Ham’s win.1/3 odds mean you profit a third of what you wagered. A $30 bet on 1/3 odds would return $40 total, or a $10 profit. 1xBet has also predicted a 1.43 winning odd on David Moyes’s side securing a 0.43$ on every 1$ bet.
Draw: After a West Ham win, the odds are high on a draw match where somehow Bristol City can contain the hammers. As per Bet365, the odds of a drawn FA match is 5.0. A 5.0 odds means $1 bet would pay out $6 in total, or a $5 profit. Other platforms like BetFair has revealed with a 4/1 odd deal that ensures a $4 profit for every $1 bet on the draw. Whereas 1xBet has 4.7 winning odds that will ensure a $4.7 profit for every $1 bet.
Bristol City Win- Odds against the winning of the Championship is side is extremely high and rewarding. Betfair has 7/1 odds on the city win assuring a $7 profit for every $1 bet on the city win. 1xBet on the other hand has an even better 7.2 betting odds rewarding $7.2 profit for every $1 bet. Bet365 on the other hand , has a 6.5 betting odds that will fetch a $6.5 profit on every $1 bet.
The final game result is not the only odds that can be bet upon. Many websites ensures different bookmarks based on varied odds.
Let’s have a detailed overview on various odds in the match by Bet365 as per SportsGambler.
- Full Time Result: 1-1.40 ;X- 5.00; 2- 6.50
- Half Time Result- 1-1.91; X- 2.50; 2-6.50
- Double Chance- 1X-1.11; 12-1.17; X2- 2.75
- Both Teams to Score- Yes-1.95; No-1.80
- Draw No Bet- 1-1.14; 2-5.50.
- Asian Handicap- 1 Hcp -1.25- 1.98: 2 Hcp +1.25- 1.92
- Total Goals- Under 2.5- 2.10; Over 2.5-1.70
- Total Corners- Under 9.5- 2.00; Over 9.5-1.73
1-West Ham win, X- Draw result , 2- Bristol City win.
A few websites have special offers for those interested in signing up for their platforms. For instance, Bet365 offers a sign-up promotion where new customers can receive £30 in free bets by placing a single bet of £10. Many customers enjoy using a FA Cup Bet Builder, allowing them to combine various betting selections on football betting sites. More selections result in higher odds.
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