Manchester City match preview

FA Cup third round
West Ham United v Manchester City
Saturday 5 January
Referee: Rob Styles

WHUTV - Full audio commentary, plus Alan Curbishley's pre-match press conference.


The meeting of two of the Premier League's form clubs this season is sure to be a competitive affair. West Ham United are three-time cup winners in 1964, 1975 and 1980. The club also played in the 1923 and 2006 finals - the latter being the most memorable in recent history after a 3-3 draw culminated in a 3-1 win by Liverpool on penalties. City, currently six places higher in the Barclays Premier League than the tenth-placed Hammers, lifted the trophy in 1904, 1934, 1956 and 1969, while they lost out on four occasions in 1926, 1933, 1955 and 1981.

Should a replay be required, it will be staged on Wednesday 16 January at the City of Manchester Stadium, kick-off 7.45pm. The fourth-round draw will be held from 1.30pm on Monday 7 January. Return to for latest updates.

Team news

Alan Curbishley is hopeful that Matthew Etherington and Lee Bowyer will return while there is also every chance of youth internationals James Tomkins and Jack Collison again being involved with the first team after the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on New Year's Day. Anton Ferdinand will hope for another 90 minutes after his return from a hamstring injury. John Pantsil and Henri Camara are due to go off to the African Cup of Nations after the fixture.

Aside from the possible comebacks of Bowyer and Etherington, the manager expects to largely have the same squad that travelled to the Emirates Stadium after beating Manchester United last weekend - although Scott Parker, Nolberto Solano and Freddie Ljungberg are all likely to miss out. A number of other players - including Julien Faubert - are on the fringes of selection and some could feature in a reserve game at Aston Villa on Monday.

Manchester City have playmaker Elano fit again, after he scored in the 2-0 victory at Newcastle United on Wednesday. The club have pledged to be active in the transfer window with Mexico striker Nery Castillo in the frame for his debut after being cleared to play. City's only main injury concern is Michael Johnson, with the England Under-21 midfielder having missed the last four games with a groin injury. Valeri Bojinov, who played in City's 2-0 win at the Boleyn Ground on the first day of the season, is still out with a long-term knee problem.


Having memorably won 2-1 at City in the FA Cup en route to the 2005/06 final, West Ham United will hope for similar this time around. Only Danny Gabbidon, James Collins, Hayden Mullins, Matthew Etherington, Dean Ashton and Bobby Zamora of the current squad featured in that quarter-final on 20 March 2006, with Ashton scoring both goals in the 41st and 69th minutes. For City, current players Micah Richards, Richard Dunne, Sun Jihai, Stephen Ireland, Darius Vassell all featured - with former midfielder Kiki Musampa scoring their consolation.

The only other FA Cup meeting between the clubs came in the 1997/98 fourth round, when goals from Eyal Berkovic (28) and Steve Lomas (76) cancelled out Georgi Kinkladze's 59th-minute opener.

The 2007/08 league season started with City's trip to the Boleyn Ground and was the first game in charge for new manager Sven-Goran Eriksson. Rolando Bianchi (18) and Geovanni (87) scored both goals.

The lineups were:

West Ham United: Green, Spector, Ferdinand, Upson, McCartney (Ashton 63), Ljungberg, Bowyer (Mullins 46), Noble, Boa Morte (Etherington 46), Zamora, Bellamy
Subs not used: Wright, Gabbidon

Manchester City: Schmeichel, Richards, Corluka (Onuoha 62), Dunne, Garrido, Elano (Geovanni 80), Hamann, Johnson, Petrov, Ireland, Bianchi (Bojinov 61)
Subs not used: Hart, Gelson

Curbishley's current side are in fine league form, with five wins and four draws from the last 12 fixtures. The only three reverses came against strong opposition in the form of Chelsea, Everton and Arsenal, whiile the club took a respectable seven points from the four Christmas fixtures. A 2-1 win at Middlesbrough on 22 December was followed by the 1-1 draw against Reading and the 2-1 victory against Manchester United. The unbeaten run came to a halt in the 2-0 loss at Arsenal.

The Hammers have still not lost in all nine league games this season when they have taken the lead while the Boro and United successes were the first two comeback wins of the campaign. George McCartney is bidding to make his 25th appearance this season in all competitions - and is the only West Ham United player who has featured in every game to date, starting in each one. In terms of the Premier League, only Robert Green and Upson have played every minute of the 20 matches. Ashton, with five goals, is the club's leading scorer in all competitions.

For City, only Martin Petrov has started every top-flight game this season, although Vedran Corluka has appeared in each fixture. Elano with six goals, five in the league, is the club's top scorer. The 2-0 win on the opening day was one of only two away wins in the league this season - the second came in the midweek 2-0 win at Newcastle. City have not lost in their last five league games - three of which have been drawn - since 9 December.

Head to head (last six meetings, league unless stated)

11 August 2007 - West Ham United 0-2 Manchester City
30 December 2006 - West Ham United 0-1 Manchester City
23 September 2006 - Manchester City 2-0 West Ham United
15 April 2006 - West Ham United 1-0 Manchester City
20 March 2006 - Manchester City 1-2 West Ham United (FA Cup)
16 October 2005 - Manchester City 2-1 West Ham United

Overall record v Manchester City (all competitions): W 34, D 12, L 37

Third-round fixtures

Saturday 5 January (All 3pm unless stated)

Aston Villa Manchester United (5.15pm)
Barnsley v Blackpool
Blackburn Rovers v Coventry City
Bolton v Sheffield United
Brighton and Hove Albion v Mansfield Town
Bristol City v Middlesbrough
Charlton Athletic v West Bromwich Albion
Chasetown v Cardiff City
Chelsea v Queen's Park Rangers
Colchester United v Peterborough United
Everton v Oldham Athletic
Huddersfield Town v Birmingham City
Ipswich Town v Portsmouth
Norwich City v Bury
Plymouth Argyle v Hull City
Preston North End v Scunthorpe United
Southampton v Leicester City
Southend United v Dagenham & Redbridge
Sunderland v Wigan Athletic
Swansea City v Havant and Waterlooville
Swindon Town v Barnet
Tottenham Hotspur v Reading
Tranmere Rovers v Hereford United
Walsall v Millwall
Watford v Crystal Palace
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Cambridge United

Sunday 6 January

Burnley v Arsenal (2pm)
Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday (2pm)
Fulham v Bristol Rovers (2pm)
Luton Town v Liverpool (4pm)
Stoke City v Newcastle United (6pm)

Key FA Cup dates

Fourth round: Saturday 26 January
Fifth round: Saturday 16 February
Sixth round: 8 March
Semi-finals: 5 April
Final: 17 May (Wembley)

General information

Please note this game is now SOLD OUT. For details of getting to the Boleyn Ground, click here

Weather: The forecast is for a chilly and overcast day in east London, with rain possible. The temperature is set to peak at around 10C.