Bristol City v West Ham: Robins capable of causing problems in FA Cup

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Both Bristol City and West Ham required replays to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup, the latter going all the way to an epic penalty shootout, so don’t expect either of them to relinquish their status in the competition without a fight.

The League One hosts have been in excellent form this season in the third tier, sat in second place, six points clear of MK Dons in third.

Boss Steve Cotterill will know his side will really be tested when the Hammers, fresh from getting back to form against Hull last weekend visit Ashton Gate.

The West Country side are 14/5 to pick up a shock win, while it is 19/20 the gulf in class tells, but here at Ladbrokes News, we think it might not be as black and white as that, as our three best bets tell.

Draw @ 12/5

The Robins’ record on their own patch this season has been simply sublime. They have lost just one of their last 16 matches at home, winning 13 of them.

Despite the two-division gap, West Ham must be weary.

The quality Sam Allardyce’s men possess should normally shine through, but with the Hammers winning just one of their last nine on the road in the FA Cup, we think a replay in the capital could be on the cards.

Matt Smith to score at anytime @ 23/10

Some may remember him as the man who struck twice to help Oldham shock Liverpool at this stage two seasons ago, and the 6ft6in striker will be gunning for an upset again.

He is in sublime form, netting nine goals in his last seven games for the Robins, on loan from Fulham.

In this kind of form he is likely to be the man the hosts look to trouble their Premier League counterparts.

Bristol City to score two or three goals @ 2/1

A chance can be taken on Cotterill’s men causing Adrian plenty of problems in the visiting goal.

They have netted two or three goals in nine of their 17 home games (52%) in all competitions this season.

West Ham are far from water-tight on the road – they haven’t kept a clean sheet away from home all season, and have let in two strikes five times on their travels to date.

So with the odds implying a probability of 33% of this bet coming in, it looks some real value.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

Think Bristol City can bag themselve a replay? Back them to book a tie at Upton Park using your free £25 bet and pick up £50 if the game ends in a draw!

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.