Betway Insider's View of the Opposition: Wigan Athletic
West Ham’s 1-1 draw with Bournemouth last weekend extended their unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions, though this fixture won’t prove quite as easy as the two-division gap suggests.
The Irons have recent experience of taking on League One promotion chasers, having knocked third-place Shrewsbury out of the FA Cup in the previous round.
But they didn’t have it all their own way having had to wait until the 112th minute of the replay to score the only goal of the tie.
And West Ham could be in for a similarly testing afternoon against Wigan, who lead the way at the top of the third tier.
The Latics have already knocked Bournemouth out at the second time of asking after the Premier League side came from two goals down at home to force a replay.
Paul Cook’s side hammered the Cherries 3-0 at the DW Stadium and have now gone seven games without defeat on home soil.
But don’t expect a goal-fest on Saturday, given that three of Wigan’s last four at home have ended 0-0.
The Latics have the meanest defence in the Football League having conceded just 13 times in 27 matches – seven fewer than any other side.
West Ham have also managed clean sheets in each of their four matches against lower-league opposition this season, so a low-scoring affair looks likely.
Having won three and drawn one of those cup games, though, David Moyes’ side should force at least a replay even if things don’t go entirely to plan.
Andre Ayew has started all six of the Hammers’ cup games this season, bagging three goals along the way, and should do so again.
Without the injured Andy Carroll and Manuel Lanzini, the Ghanaian forward looks to be their likeliest threat.