David Moyes may have only won one game as an opposition manager at Old Trafford when West Ham United triumphed 1-0 in the Carabao Cup in September 2021. He is hoping to do it again and the Irons can overcome their current fifth round record and finally progress to the quarter-final stage of the Emirates FA Cup by beating the Red Devils tonight.
Once they had managed to extinguish their fourth round hoodoo two years ago when the East Londoners achieved a 4-0 home victory against Sky Bet League One outfit Doncaster Rovers, it has not gone well for Moyes’ men, as they have exited the competition on both of their previous occasions and they will be hoping to avoid being dumped out at the same stage for a third straight season.
The Hammers have already won an all Premier League tie at Brentford and knocked out Sky Bet League One side Derby County in order to set up this encounter.
Tonight’s hosts have had a similar run in this year’s competition, facing an all Premier League tie against Everton in round three before ensuring an early exit for Sky Bet Championship side Reading on 28 January.
Although the visitors go into the game having had one extra day’s preparation, both sides have momentum behind them after wins at the weekend with Erik ten Hag’s men beating fellow top-flight side Newcastle United 2-0 to win the 2022/23 Carabao Cup at Wembley on Sunday, whereas Moyes’ side trounced newly-promoted Nottingham Forest 4-0 in Stratford.
The East Londoners suffered a 1-0 defeat here back in October and will be hoping to make amends for that defeat and cement a quarter-final place for the first time since the 2015/16 campaign.
If the contest ends in a draw, then extra-time will be needed and if there is still no winner, then a penalty shootout will take place to determine who progresses to the quarter-finals. They will be played during the weekend of 18/19 March with the draw being made after all tonight’s games have reached a conclusion.
Flynn Downes, Thilo Kehrer, Emerson Palmieri, Pablo Fornals, Manuel Lanzini and Aaron Cresswell are all in contention, while either Michail Antonio, Gianluca Scamacca or Maxwel Cornet will feature upfront. Ben Johnson started ahead of Kehrer four days ago and the defender will be hoping to retain his place.
Alphonse Areola would have started this match ahead of Łukasz Fabiański but the Pole will not even be involved here after suffering an eye injury against Steve Cooper’s men, meaning either Joseph Anang or Krisztián Hegyi will fill in on the bench.
Vladimír Coufal is also unavailable to Moyes after the Czech was forced off at half-time in Saturday’s win due to a heel problem.
Tonight’s match is a 7:45pm kick-off with live coverage being screened by ITV from 7pm. The referee is Michael Salisbury.