West Ham Team News vs Leeds (FA Cup): Benrahma, Cresswell, Fornals, Zouma

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After back-to-back wins over the New year period, West Ham switches their focus to the FA Cup. Unlike some of their fellow London sides, the Irons won’t face lower league opposition. They will face fellow Premier League side Leeds United.

Incredibly, it will be the first time in over 90 years these two sides have faced each other in the cup. Their last FA Cup meeting happened in 1930 and resulted in a 4-1 win to the East London club. West Ham does not have an outstanding record in the cup when they face fellow Premier League sides.

In their last 19 FA Cup ties against Premier League opposition, West Ham has progressed to the next round just once. That happened in 2016 when they defeated Liverpool 2-1.

West Ham United vs Leeds United FYIs:

Kick-off time: 2 PM GMT, 9th January 2022

Starting XI Prediction: go here

Premier League Podcast: go here

Form Guide (All Competitions): West Ham (LLLWW) Leeds (DLLLW)

I think West Ham has a great shot to win the FA Cup this year, personally.

They have shown that they can beat any side on their day in the league, and in these one-off ties – the best team on the day goes through. That bodes well for them.

West Ham will be without Algerian international Said Benrahma as he pursues AFCON glory in Cameroon with the Algerian national side.

The forward has been in excellent form this year and will be a big miss for the Hammers.

Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma will both miss out here. Zouma isn’t expected back until a bit later this month, whereas Zouma will probably not feature at all this year as he recovers from surgery on his ACL.

Elsewhere, Aaron Cresswell is still nowhere near the first team. The longer he is out, the more West Ham fans must be nervous about the true extent of the back injury he sustained against Manchester City.

Spaniard Pablo Fornals is a 50/50 chance of being fit for selection. After his bout of COVID-19, the midfielder is clearly struggling to regain match fitness. It speaks to the unknown regarding the virus’s long-term effects.

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This should be one of the closer cup ties this weekend. I am backing West Ham to win through here in a potential match of the round contender.

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