Howe’s Burnley boys should not upset the Hammers
West Ham entertain Burnley on Monday night for a place in the quarter-final of the FA Cup.
THERE MAY not be too many exciting looking ties in this season’s FA Cup fifth round, but why this match was chosen for live tv coverage remains a mystery.
The move to Monday night means the Hammers have not played a Saturday afternoon match at Upton Park since December 11 and they won’t have another until March 5.
Burnley are the third consecutive Championship side to visit West Ham in this season’s FA Cup, which seems to be testament to the sort of luck Avram Grant has in the competition.
It won’t be easy. Young boss Eddie Howe has arrived from Bournemouth and already looks the part with four wins from his six games as the Clarets have hoisted themselves up to eighth place after the sacking of Brian Laws.
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It was Laws who took them down last term in a campaign that is beginning to resemble Blackpool’s efforts this season.
West Ham thumped them 5-3 at Upton Park along the way with goals from Jack Collison, Junior Stanislas, Carlton Cole, Guillermo Franco and Luis Jimenez - remember him? Though it was 5-0 at one point.
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Our veteran readers will remember that West Ham beat Burnley 3-2 in the quarter-final in 1964 on the way to winning the trophy for the first time, while they also won 3-1 at Turf Moor in the third round in 1968.
This season’s Burnley team have managed three wins on the road, taking all the points at Portsmouth, Barnsley and last Saturday, Watford, while so far in the cup they have beaten two League Two sides in Port Vale and Burton.
Chris Eagles always provides pace and width for the team, while Jay Rodriguez has scored seven goals, but perhaps Chris Iwelumo is the one to watch.
The Scotland international has 11 goals to his name, and though he needs a few chances to hit the net, he will have to be marked tightly – something West Ham struggle with.
Howe has brought in Marvin Bartley from his old club and Charlie Austin from Swindon, but both are cup-tied, so everything seems to be pointing towards a West Ham win.
Burnley haven’t won at Upton Park since 1973 and something suggests they won’t be putting that record right this season either.
Possible team: Grant, Mears, Fox, Duff, Carlisle, Wallace, Marney, Eagles, Cork, Iwelumo, Rodriguez.
West Ham 3 Burnley 1