West Ham boss Slaven Bilic never won the FA Cup as a player, but he’s got it firmly in his sights as a manager.
The Hammers overcame Liverpool in the last round after Angelo Ogbonna’s 120th-minute winner, and Bilic has said he’d rather win the cup than qualify for the Champions League.
Standing in his way on Sunday are Blackburn Rovers. The Championship club have decent form in this competition, knocking two Premier League teams out last season in their run to the quarter final, where they took Liverpool to a replay before being eliminated.
Wins over Newport and Oxford this term provided a respite for Paul Lambert’s side, who have struggled to get away from the foot of the table this year, sitting in 18th place. Their vital 3-0 victory over Fulham on Tuesday was their first league win in nine.
West Ham, on the other hand, have been enjoying a stellar final season at the Boleyn Ground and could yet finish their time there with some silverware.
Interestingly, the last five games between these sides have finished as draws. But I don’t think there’ll be a repeat on Sunday.
Given the importance Bilic has put on the cup, expect a full strength side, including playmaker Dimitri Payet.
The Frenchman has lit up east London since his move from Marseille last summer, and could help his side to a comfortable victory on Sunday.
A West Ham win is available at 6/5 with Betway, and I just can’t see any other result.
Given the array of attacking talent available for the Hammers, they could notch quite a few against a struggling Blackburn. With Manuel Lanzini and Diafra Sakho potentially playing a part on their return from injury, there should be goals.
Spread bettors are advised to buy total goals at 2.5 with Sporting Index.
West Ham 6/5 (Betway)
Buy total goals 2.5 (Sporting Index)