Both West Brom and West Ham will be hoping to book a place in sixth round of FA Cup when, the two face off at the Hawthorns in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday.
Five time winners, West Brom, will fancy their chances of progressing after their ever improving form since the appointment of Tony Pulis. The Baggies have only lost the once since the Welshman’s arrival, and are pulling further away from the relegation zone with their 2-0 victory over Swansea City on Wednesday putting them four points above the drop zone.
Three time winners, West Ham, may have more of a focus on this competition after recent form has seen them fall off the pace in the race for European football after four draws in the last six league games. They fell to another stalemate midweek with a 0-0 draw with high flying Southampton but they haven’t been beaten by their opponents this season and even winning 2-1 at the Hawthorns back in December.
Pulis doesn’t have many injuries concerns going into this match, with Darren Fletcher been the only major absentee as the Scotsman is cup-tied. Craig Gardener is expected to replace the captain in the midfield. Record signing Brown Ideye is expected to keep his place in the side despite nearly being sold in January after scoring two goals in as many games and will be expected to partner Sadio Berahino.
Allardyce has more of a selection headache than his counterpart with Jussi Jaaskelainen making a returning in between sticks after Adrian’s dismissal at St. Mary’s on Wednesday. Striker Andy Carroll faces yet another spell on side-lines after picking up an injury midweek so Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho will continue upfront. Winston Reid and James Collins are fitness doubts but the duo of Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan will make a return in the midfield.