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Preview: West Ham United vs. Doncaster Rovers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's FA Cup clash between West Ham United and Doncaster Rovers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

West Ham United will be looking to advance to the fifth round of the FA Cup when they welcome Doncaster Rovers to the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Hammers will enter the match off the back of four straight wins, while Doncaster have been victorious in their last three, including a 1-0 success at Blackburn Rovers in the third round of the FA Cup.

Match preview

Michail Antonio celebrates scoring for West Ham United against West Bromwich Albion on January 19, 2021© Reuters

West Ham's form in recent weeks, and for the majority of the 2020-21 campaign, has certainly given their supporters reasons to be optimistic, and the Hammers will be eyeing a spot in the fifth round of the FA Cup when they welcome League One opposition to the English capital.

David Moyes's side were far from their best in the third round of the competition, needing a late goal from Craig Dawson to overcome Stockport County, but they have also been victorious twice since then in the Premier League, beating Burnley and West Bromwich Albion in quick succession.

West Ham are now up to seventh in the Premier League table and will be looking to make it four league victories in a row when they travel to Crystal Palace for a London derby on January 26.

However, the Hammers must first focus on the FA Cup - a competition that they have won on three previous occasions, the last of which came in 1980, beating Arsenal in the final.

The capital giants also reached the 2006 final - losing to Liverpool - and they will face either the reigning Premier League champions or Manchester United in the next round of the tournament with a victory here.

Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Moore pictured in November 2019© Reuters

Doncaster, meanwhile, will also enter this match in strong form, winning their last three matches against Blackburn, Swindon Town and Rochdale.

Darren Moore's side overcame FC United of Manchester and Carlisle United in the opening two rounds of this season's FA Cup before winning 1-0 at Blackburn courtesy of an effort from Taylor Richards.

Donny will be the underdogs heading into this weekend's contest, but they are enjoying a strong season to date, picking up 39 points from 20 matches to occupy fourth position in League One.

Doncaster have not actually beaten West Ham in any competition since a 3-0 success in Division Two back in 1956, but they did hold the Hammers to a 1-1 draw when the pair last locked horns in the Championship during the 2011-12 campaign.

West Ham United FA Cup form: LWLWLW
West Ham United form (all competitions): DDWWWW

Doncaster Rovers FA Cup form: DWLWWW
Doncaster Rovers form (all competitions): WWLWWW

Team News

West Ham's Declan Rice on January 1, 2021© Reuters

West Ham will again be without the services of Arthur Masuaku due to a long-term knee problem, but the Hammers are otherwise in good shape heading into the contest.

Moyes will make changes from the side that started against West Brom on Tuesday, with Andriy Yarmolenko, Pablo Fornals, Mark Noble and Ryan Fredericks all in line for starts.

Ben Johnson and Darren Randolph should also earn spots in the XI, but the likes of Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen should again feature for the Premier League club.

As for Doncaster, Moore is expected to name a similar side to the one that started the previous round against Blackburn, with Richards again featuring in an advanced area.

Elliot Simoes and Fejiri Okenabirhie should both retain their spots in the wide positions, while there is likely to be another start through the middle for 19-year-old Tyreece John-Jules.

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Randolph; Fredericks, Dawson, Balbuena, Johnson; Rice, Noble; Bowen, Fornals, Benrahma; Yarmolenko

Doncaster Rovers possible starting lineup:
Balcombe; Wright, Anderson, Butler, John; Halliday, James; Okenabirhie, Richards, Simoes; John-Jules

SM words green background

We say: West Ham United 2-1 Doncaster Rovers

Doncaster's recent form must be respected, and there is every reason to believe that the visitors will prove tricky opposition for West Ham. The Hammers are on a bit of a roll at the moment, though, and we expect them to advance to the fifth round of the competition courtesy of a 2-1 success.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Moore pictured in November 2019
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