Sam Allardyce is expected to field his strongest XI for the visit to Ashton Gate on Sunday as West Ham face Bristol City in the FA Cup fourth-round.
The Hammers manager has spoken this week of his desire to win the coveted cup competition and his willingness to sacrifice a Europa League place in order to do so.
With that being said, West Ham will be taking nothing for granted against their high-flying League One opponents.
The east London outfit could field the same team that scored three second-half goals against Hull City last time out, although Kevin Nolan may be axed for the more creative Morgan Amalfitano.
Also, Winston Reid returned from injury as a substitute against Hull and may be thrown in to the starting line-up in place of James Collins who picked up a slight knock in that match.
Article continues below
Enner Valencia set up two goals in the previous game but will be in for a physical battle that he may not be used to against Bristol, however their attentions will predominantly be focused on the towering No.9 Andy Carroll.
City will no doubt pick their strongest line-up for the visit of the Hammers. They play a 3-5-2 formation and boast powerful strikers themselves, in Kieran Agard, Aaron Wilbraham, Matt Smith and Luke Freeman.
Smith and Freeman started in their last outing, a 2-0 victory at Scunthorpe United, but Agard and Wilbraham have 18 goals between them this term and are certainly the more dangerous, although they are both injury doubts for the tie.
Bristol have won four of their last five matches in all competitions over a 14 day period and they haven’t lost since before Christmas – a 1-0 defeat against Crewe.
Currently they sit second in League One behind Swindon on goal difference and they are brimming with confidence at present. The winning momentum they have picked up over their heavy schedule of matches could bode well for them against the Hammers.
West Ham haven’t been in bad form themselves but they have only won two in their last five, one being the penalty shoot-out victory over Everton, but they have been consistently playing well which should stand them in good stead.
It is all set-up to be a thrilling FA Cup tie with both teams wanting to win and progress to the next round.
As Allardyce has stated anything can happen in this competition but he will be doing everything in his power to ensure his side are not in for an upset at Ashton Gate.
It probably won’t be the prettiest game of football but no doubt it will be a fascinating watch with plenty of drama as two in-form teams lock horns.
WEST HAM UNITED: PREDICTED XI
Adrian, Jenkinson, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell; Noble, Song, Nolan, Downing, Valencia; Carroll.
Bristol City 1-2 West Ham
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms