West Ham v Birmingham – FA Cup 3rd Round – Match Preview
Author: Brian Knox. Published: 5 January 2019 at 11:31am
Like it or not the cup doesn’t carry the importance it once did, and I’m sure a lot of younger supporters will think it all too much of a distraction to league positioning nowadays. I love the cup though and look forward to the giant killing that comes with it. West Ham have slipped up many times in the past but hopefully those days are long gone, and we make easy work of the lower league teams. As we did against Macclesfield in the cup.
Birmingham City may not be exactly a lower league team but it’s lower than us and I expect Pellegrini to put out a mix of youth and experienced players who should be more than comfortably put us through to the next round of the competition.
Gary Monk has done quite well this year with a Birmingham team which has struggled at the wrong end of the Championship for the last few seasons. They are up in 8th position and may have their sights on a playoff place at the end of the season which may mean they rest a few players as well for the clash at the London Stadium.
West Ham managed to battle back in their last game out a few days ago. Defending at set pieces seem to have become a concern since we lost Balbuena to injury so hopefully this has been addressed in training as I’m sure they will be looking to exploit this during the game.
I don’t think West Ham have any new players back from injury just yet, but I expect to see Nasri take part in this game. The good news is that Andy Carroll has not got injured making his 1st start of the season against Brighton and should be able to lead the line against Birmingham. While Balbuena could be back for the Arsenal game next weekend.
Birmingham have Vassell, Pedersen and Bogle all likely to miss out.
Predicted teams :
West Ham United : Adrian, Antonio, Diop, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Rice, Obiang, Nasri, Diangana, Arnautovic, Xande Silva.
Birmingham City : Camp, Harding, Morrison, Dean, Colin, Jota, Gardener, Kieftenbeld, Maghoma, Adams, Mahoney.
Never easy to predict the team or the scores in these games but I do expect West Ham to finish winners at the end of the 90mins. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see more young players on the pith at the end of the game as that would mean we are comfortably winning the game. I think it will be 2-0 to the hammers with one of our crop of youngsters getting a goal and also Andy Carroll getting the other one.