It hasn’t been the loveliest of English Premier League seasons for West Ham. The club currently sits in a precarious 10th place out of 20 teams, having given back any ground gained in a stirring win over Arsenal with a dreadful 0-2 loss to Cherries.
In the FA Cup, however, it’s been nothing but good news so far. Hammers played a nice style of football in the 3rd Round against Birmingham, staying on the attack for nearly 3/4ths of the fixture, and scoring just 2 minutes in on a header from Austrian striker Marko Arnautović following a barrage of offense to begin play.
Not every Premier League squad made it through their maiden FA Cup matches, and some had to face “replays” against League One squads. By contrast, Birmingham looked slow and awkward against the Irons, and the result reestablished West Ham as a dangerous elimination-match team following the squad’s EFL Cup loss to Tottenham earlier this season.
West Ham visits AFC Wimbledon on Saturday at Kingsmeadow, home turf of the “Wambles.” Wimbledon is not a contender to reach the Premier League, but club did once meet and play competitively against Hammers in an EFL Cup match in August, with the League One representative losing 3-1 after center-back Rod McDonald took a red card in just the 18th minute.
Perhaps that result has a lot to do with the betting odds. London is giving Hammers 5/11 to beat the Wambles in 90+ minutes and avoid the “replay” fate suffered by already-strained Premiership clubs in the previous round.
Hammers will rely on winger Robert Snodgrass, who has absolutely torn-apart non-EPL teams in recent competition with 10 goals and 14 assists in 18 appearances.
The match will serve as AFC Wimbledon’s first appearance in the FA Cup 4th Round since the club’s reformation in 2002. The squad knocked out Fleetwood 3-2 in the 3rd Round when striker Kwesi Appiah scored in the 90th minute.
Photo from Twitter.