Weblog: The football punter

No Villa Park shock if Cherries pick up victory

Bristol City v West Ham eh? I remember them, they used to be good for a while in the 1980s. Shame it's been hard for them since. Oh, and Bristol City are playing too.

No offence, Hammers fans. But I know which option you guys will be hoping for from the only two that seem to be on offer from this fixture's head-to-head record.

You probably shouldn't put much faith in that stat between teams who have played only twice since 1993 but here goes: this game is clearly either going to be a draw or a whacking great victory for the Hammers.

West Ham's five trips to Ashton Gate since 1980 have ended up 1-1, 2-2, 1-1, 1-5 and 1-1.

The games at Upton Park have been along similar lines, featuring a goalless draw in the only match of this millennium and 5-0 and 6-1 wins for the Londoners.

The way City have been going, winning ten of their last 12 games while the Hammers have won only one of their last seven, the 5-0 away win might be best left alone this time, but I'm not ruling out the draw.

Championship leaders Bournemouth are only six places below Aston Villa in the tables and though the Cherries have hit a bumpy spell with two defeats in their last three, a trip to shot-shy Villa looks the perfect antidote.

Villa are the competition's all-time top scorers with 833 FA Cup goals, but they're averaging 0.5 goals per game this season and Eddie Howe's men are a decent price to cause what you'd be hard-pushed to call an upset.

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Match in Focus

14:00 TODAY BBC1

Bristol C v West Ham

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • West Ham haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their three cup fixtures this season
Expert verdict
This could prove a corking FA Cup tie, as Bristol City are flying in League 1 and have conceded just nine goals in 12 league fixtures at Ashton Gate this term. West Ham have showed signs of slowing down lately and slipped out of the League Cup at the hands of Sheffield United.