FOOTBALL journalist Adam Goodwin (@@AdamGoodwin__) takes a look at Saturday night's FA Cup 4th Round fixture between Wimbledon and West Ham at Kingsmeadow.
Wimbledon v West Ham | Saturday 26th January 2019, 19:45 | BT Sport
These two have already met this season, in the EFL Cup, with West Ham winning that one 3-1. Wimbledon will be keen for revenge as the Hammers return to Plough Lane.
A 3-0 defeat at home to Fleetwood wasn’t the best preparation for this game against Premier League side West Ham. It’s a result that leaves them rock-bottom of League One and relegation League Two could very well be on the cards for Wally Downes’ side.
Since taking over from Neal Ardley at Wimbledon, Downes looked like he had steadied the ship, losing two of his first eight games (W3-D2-L2). But in their last two games they’ve been battered by both Barnsley and Fleetwood at home, conceding seven and scoring just one, in the process.
Their home form hasn’t been great this season and they went through a spell of losing nine out of 10 of their home games towards the start of the season. They looked like they had started to stop leaking goals recently too, but those last two games have cast doubt as to how sustainable that was.
Looking at the last game between these two earlier in the season, despite conceding the first goal, West Ham absolutely dominated that game. They had 81% possession, 28 shots and 11 shots on-target, but they did field a pretty strong team that game.
However, it looks like they might rest some key names this time round, with the likes of Xande Silva, Robert Snodgrass and Arthur Masuaka being just a few names to come into the starting XI. Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna will reportedly remain at centre-back (with them currently being the only fully fit centre-backs at the club), so the defence looks like it’ll stay quite solid.
West Ham’s away form hasn’t been bad and, bar their last two games away from the London Stadium, they’ve tended to score quite a few goals. Over 1.5 Goals has landed in 10/11 (91%) of their away games and I think we can shoehorn that into a bet for this one.
The betting angle
I can see a very similar game to the one that we saw in the EFL Cup between these two earlier in the season and I expect West Ham to dominate. Although their side may be slightly weaker this time out, I think they’ve got more than enough quality to beat this Wimbledon side who have failed to find any consistent form. So, I like the look of West Ham to win and Over 1.5 Goals in this one at 4/5 with Ladbrokes.
I also like the look of Robert Snodgrass to score anytime at 10/3 with Betway. The Scot is almost guaranteed to start and will probably be on free-kicks too. He scored two against Macclesfield in the EFL Cup earlier in the season and has also bagged two Premier League goals this season.
If West Ham can’t break Wimbledon down you might expect the Hammers to fire in some shots from range and you wouldn’t put it past him in finding the top corner.