Blackburn Rovers have actually dropped a place in the Championship table since Paul Lambert assumed the reins from Gary Bowyer in November, but they have every chance of kicking their delayed resurgence well and truly into gear by ejecting West Ham from the FA Cup at Ewood Park.
Rovers are illuminatingly short 9/4 outsiders for victory inside 90 minutes, with the draw the same price and an Irons win 13/10 favourite in the match betting.
Three key factors make the hosts well worth backing for victory, or a very reasonable 7/4 in the draw-no-bet market.
West Ham have an extremely moderate road record
The last of their high-profile early season away wins at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City came in mid-September and Slaven Bilic’s troops have prevailed just twice in 13 fixtures away from the Boleyn Ground since.
Having relied upon moments of pure inspiration from Dimitri Payet and Enner Valencia for their most recent road victory against Bournemouth, goalscoring appears to be the main problem.
They’ve bagged more than once on just two of their last eight away days.
Despite their struggles Blackburn have been tough to best at Ewood Park
After losing their first two home games of the season, Rovers have gone down in just three of their last 14, with that a loss to league-leading Hull.
They come in to the fixture off the back of a confidence boosting 3-0 win over Fulham in front of the faithful last time out.
Bilic’s squad has been shrunk by several injuries
The Croat will select a team from a player pool that bereft of defenders James Tompkins, Winston Reid and Joey O’Brien, as well as striker Diafra Sakho.
However, the participation of frontmen Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia and midfield general Cheikhou Kouyate is also in doubt.