Bristol City Match Preview
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 25 Jan 2015 10:15:00
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After picking up their first win of 2015 at home to Hull City last weekend, West Ham United once again turn their attention to the FA Cup and a fourth-round trip to Ashton Gate to face Sky Bet League One outfit Bristol City this afternoon.

Both sides had to face replays to make it through to this stage with the Hammers squeezing past fellow Barclays Premier League side Everton on penalties after a 2-2 draw on 13 January, whereas Steve Cotterill's men made far lighter work of a side also from the same division; Doncaster Rovers the same evening.

The Robins are currently second in League One but only on goal-difference, so this could be a tough test for the Irons but they should still be good enough to prolong their involvement in the competition.

The last time the two sides met at Ashton Gate was in a league meeting in April 2012 when both sides were in the nPower Championship. A James Tomkins header gave the visitors the lead, only for Cole Skuse to equalise in the second-half.

Despite a difficult run of results at that period in the season, the Hammers went on to make an immediate return to the top-flight in Sam Allardyce's first campaign in charge.

West Ham last progressed to this stage in the 2010/11 season, as they beat nPower Championship side Nottingham Forest on route to the quarter-finals under the stewardship of Avram Grant. The cup competitions were a bit of light relief for the East Londoners that campaign, as in the league, they finished bottom with a miserly total of 23 points.

Both teams go into this game on the back of impressive wins and Allardyce's men will be desperate to keep that momentum going.

Big Sam looks set to name a strong side once again as he did against the Toffees in both legs of the previous round. James Collins is the only absentee as he has not yet recovered from the back injury he picked up during the 3-0 victory against the Tigers seven days ago.

Winston Reid will be looking to return to the starting line-up after he missed the third-round replay due to an ankle injury. If the manager thinks changes are necessary, then Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel, Joey O'Brien, Matt Jarvis, Diego Poyet and Carlton Cole are all in contention.

The match is a 2pm kick-off and live coverage can be seen on BBC1 from 1:15pm. The referee is Lee Mason.

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