West Ham United travel to AFC Wimbledon on Saturday night in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The Hammers had never faced AFC Wimbledon before this season.

But like London buses two come along at once. Saturday’s game will be the second time the clubs have met in cup competitions this season.

West Ham ran out 3-1 winners in the Carabao Cup back in August. West Ham owed much of that to an early red card for the hosts who took the lead and more than held their own until a late Hammers rally.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United via Getty Images

There is the added spice of former Hammers coach Wally Downes being appointed Wimbledon boss.

Like the Carabao Cup game, the FA Cup tie against the League One side has been chosen for television again.

That is for one reason and one reason only, BT are hoping for an upset.

And Manuel Pellegrini could be playing with fire by making as many as SEVEN changes to his side for what is West Ham’s only realistic chance of ending their 40-year trophy drought.

Of course West Ham should still have too much quality for AFC Wimbledon.

 

But the hosts proved in the Carabao Cup that they are certainly game.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United via Getty Images

Adrian in for Fabianski

Adrian is West Ham’s cup goalkeeper and will come in for Hammer of the Year contender Lukasz Fabianski.

Masuaku in for Cresswell

Aaron Cresswell has been slowly but surely finding his form and fitness and has looked like the player of old. Arthur Masuaku is unreliable defensively but has not had much game time of late and should come in to give Cresswell a rest.

Obiang in for Noble

Mark Noble seems to struggle with two games in a week let alone three. He looked tired against Bournemouth and often follows one great performance with a poor one. Pedro Obiang will come into the side in his place with Wolves away next midweek looming.

Snodgrass in for Anderson

Pellegrini has rested record signing Felipe Anderson in the cups unless he is needed. Robert Snodgrass has found himself on the bench since Samir Nasri’s arrival. He will come into the team for this one.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United via Getty Images

Diangana in for Antonio

Michail Antonio was another who looked tired in the defeat to Bournemouth. He will drop out with youngster Grady Diangana coming in and looking to make an impression after signing a new long-term contract.

Silva in for Nasri

Samir Nasri has impressed in his three games so far but is still finding his fitness. He will be given minutes here but not from the start. Young striker Xande Silva was very impressive in the third round victory over Birmingham and will get another chance to shine.

Hernandez in for Carroll

Javier Hernandez has an uncertain future at West Ham with Valencia interested while Andy Carroll is playing for his future with his contract up in the summer. Carroll was guilty of one of the misses of the season with the scores at 0-0 against the Cherries. He will drop out of the side with Chicharito coming in for some much needed minutes after a month out through injury.

Predicted West Ham XI to face AFC Wimbledon:

Adrian, Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Rice, Obiang, Snodgrass, Diangana, Silva, Hernandez.

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