Derby County Match Preview

West Ham United were knocked out of this season’s Carabao Cup at the third round stage by Sky Bet Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers. They will be hoping to avoid another shock in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round when they face Sky Bet League One side Derby County at Pride Park tonight.

The Hammers got their revenge on fellow Premier League side Brentford in round three, as Thomas Frank’s men had taken all the points from Stratford just eight days earlier.

David Moyes’ men picked up a much-needed win at home to Everton eight days ago and they will be hoping to carry that momentum into this tie.

The East Londoners will undoubtedly be favourites to progress but Paul Warne’s team will want to cause an upset here. With the Rams currently occupying fourth place in the table, their primary focus must surely be on an immediate return to the Sky Bet Championship, although they will want to see if they can take their FA Cup journey further.

A win here will give the Hammers more confidence ahead of a tough top-flight trip to face Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Saturday.

The visitors will know their potential opponents before the tie has been played with live coverage of the draw to be screened as part of the build-up to the match from 7pm.

Should a replay be required, then it has been provisionally scheduled for Tuesday 7 February with a 7:45pm kick-off.

Due to scheduling issues in the fixture calendar, whoever comes out on top in this tie will face a fifth round match in the week commencing Monday 27 February.

Moyes will be without striker Danny Ings for this encounter as he is cup-tied, having played in the previous round for Aston Villa, meaning Michail Antonio will be in line for another start and with Gianluca Scamacca missing with a knee injury, he is likely to play the lone striker’s role.

Łukasz Fabiański started at The Gtech Community Stadium as Alphonse Areola was missing with a hip injury but the Frenchman is likely to be back in goal against the Rams.

Emerson Palmieri could retain his place from the victory against the Toffees. Alternatively, Pablo Fornals could come in alongside either Manuel Lanzini, Flynn Downes, or Saïd Benrahma.

Aaron Cresswell has been left out of the starting line-up in recent weeks and he could be named in defence alongside Ben Johnson. The manager also revealed in Friday’s news conference that Kurt Zouma will be missing for this game, due to a slight muscle injury, meaning that Angelo Ogbonna is likely to retain his place in the starting line-up, as is Nayef Aguerd. Thilo Kehrer and Tomáš Souček will also be in contention.

The Hammers’ boss may also name some youngsters on the bench including Divin Mubama, who scored a brace in Friday night’s Development Squad encounter at Chelsea.

Tonight’s match is a 7:45pm kick-off and live coverage will be screened by ITV4 from 7pm. The referee is Thomas Bramall.