David Moyes celebrated two years back in charge of West Ham United with a 3-2 win at Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day and this weekend, the Hammers begin their 2021/22 Emirates FA Cup campaign with an all Premier League third round tie at home to Leeds United this afternoon.
This looks to be another difficult tie for the Irons but having said that, they did overcome the challenges of both Manchester United and Manchester City in this season’s Carabao Cup before eventually being knocked out by fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the quarter-final stage so watch this space!!!
A replay was originally scheduled for January 19 but due to recent events and fixture congestion, this will now not be the case and the winner will be decided after extra-time and penalties should the tie go the distance.
After West Ham won at Elland Road back in September, this will be the second time that these two sides have met this season with Marcelo Bielsa’s side returning to Stratford next weekend for a Premier League encounter.
The East Londoners have usually progressed from this stage and last season, they managed to overcome tricky conditions to eventually get past Vanarama National League outfit Stockport County and the hosts should be favourites to book another fourth round place, as Bielsa is yet to taste victory in this competition since arriving in West Yorkshire.
The Hammers’ boss may include names such as Alphonse Areola, Mark Noble, Arthur Masuaku, Andriy Yarmolenko, Nikola Vlašić and Alex Král. Pablo Fornals was taken off at half-time in the 3-2 defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day and has missed the last two fixtures, due to contracting Coronavirus but he may be restored to the starting line-up here. Manuel Lanzini and Issa Diop are set to retain their places, while Ryan Fredericks could make a rare start.
If Noble is selected, he is likely to take the captaincy.
The match kicks off at 2pm with live coverage being screened by ITV from 1:15pm. The referee is Stuart Attwell.