Verdict: West Ham win
Best Odds: 4/5
Looking to spring a major FA Cup upset on Monday night, Derby will welcome Premier League outfit West Ham to Pride Park.
Starting with the hosts, while Derby might have lost their Championship status last season after dealing with a string of financial issues at Pride Park, the Rams have come roaring back this time around. Last seen mounting a stunning comeback away at Port Vale on January 24th as they snatched a last-gasp 2-1 victory, Paul Warne’s men should find the mood in their camp at a real high. With their sights firmly set on securing an immediate second-tier return this year, Derby are enjoying a stellar purple patch over recent months. In fact, along with winning each of their last six straight matchups across all formats, it should also be noted that Monday’s hosts are without a single defeat from any of their 14 straight appearances. With that run stemming all the way back to an EFL Cup defeat away at Premier League giants Liverpool on November 9th.
Mounting that stellar last-gasp comeback away at Port Vale earlier in the week, Derby could be tempted to name the same starting XI here. However, impressing off the bench, Everton loanee Lewis Dobbin will be hoping for a full recall.
Now bagging back-to-back League One strikes, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing will spearhead Warne’s attack here. The ex-Cardiff man should be joined by 35-year-old David McGoldrick.
As for the visitors, managing to make an essential return to winning ways last weekend, West Ham will be desperate to avoid a major FA Cup upset on Monday night. Eventually claiming a 2-0 victory at home against fellow strugglers Everton, David Moyes’ men are seeking some much-needed stability in 2023. While the Hammers might have shocked many last season as they reached the Europa League semi-finals, the one-time Manchester United boss has seen his side come crashing back down to earth. Now at the heart of a relegation scrap, it is no secret that Moyes finds a huge amount of pressure on his shoulders in east London. However, extending on their FA Cup adventure on January 7th thanks to a 1-0 win away at Brentford, it should be noted that West Ham have lost just one of their previous four domestic matchups across all formats.
In what is a huge blow for West Ham, the Hammers have confirmed that both Kurt Zouma and new arrival Danny Ings are facing a spell on the sidelines after picking up knocks in last weekend’s 2-0 victory against Everton.
With Moyes expected to make a handful of changes on Monday night, the likes of Pablo Fornals, Flynn Downes and Ben Johnson will be hoping for a recall. Likewise, France international Alphonse Areola should start between the sticks.
Key Factors to Consider
- West Ham have lost just one of their previous four domestic matchups across all formats since opening 2023.
- Derby have won each of their last six straight appearances across all competitions – a run that has seen them muster 15 strikes.
- However, Monday’s hosts have failed to record a clean sheet in their previous three appearances.
- 11 of West Ham’s last 13 matchups across all formats have finished with over 1.5 goals.
- When the two sides last met back in 2011, Derby picked up a 2-1 victory at Pride Park.
In the midst of a stunning six-match winning run and without a single defeat to their name since the start of November, Derby will be smelling the chance to spring a real FA Cup upset on Monday night. However, while the Rams might have their sights set on securing an immediate Championship return in 2023, fans around Pride Park will know that they face a tough step up in class here. While West Ham might still find themselves at the heart of a relegation scrap, the Hammers are coming off the back of a crucial victory in east London. Eventually grabbing a much-needed 2-0 win at home against Everton, Monday’s guests have lost just one of their previous four domestic contests. Although Derby might be riding quite the wave of momentum, we’re backing an away win here.
Verdict: West Ham win
Best Odds: 4/5
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