West Ham will be able to sample the tumultuous atmosphere inside Upton Park during their epic FA Cup replay win against Everton sooner than they may have planned.
That’s because the Irons look destined for a second replay in as many rounds as they prepare to face League One pacesetters Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
Sam Allardyce’s men are 21/20 jollies to eliminate their lower league opposition, with their hosts 5/2 outsiders.
However the formbook makes it perfectly clear that the 12/5 draw is the only way to play in this particular clash.
Here’s four reasons as to why that’s the case.
West Ham have won just three times in 11 away games this season
Despite their road form being vastly improved since last term travelling victories on still something of rarity for the Irons faithful.
Instead stalemates dot their away ledger, although it’s not for the want of a goal – only Chelsea have shut them out as visitors in 2014/15.
The Robins have lost just three Ashton Gate games since 2014 began
It’s just as well West Ham have become tougher to beat on the road as they’re entering the lair of seriously stubborn hosts.
The Irons have kept a paltry four clean sheets in 25 fixtures during 2014/15
Big Sam’s faustian pact for more attacking threat has come at the price of a compromised rearguard.
Such defensive laxity would give any cup foe a sniff, but Bristol City posses more than one in-form striker right now.
City’s Matt Smith has notched nine times in his last seven games
The gigantic Fulham loanee has been in great nick for the Robins of late and also boasts giant-killing cup credentials, piercing Liverpool and Everton’s rearguards on multiple occasions in recent years.
However, his City colleague Jay-Emmanuel Thomas has been every bit as in recent outings with four strikes in his last four games.