FA CUP PREVIEW: West Ham will be difficult obstacle to overcome

West Ham look set for a long relegation battle in 2010 – so a good cup run would prove a welcome distraction. Decimated by injuries, the Hammers lie fourth from bottom in the Premier League table. Their best player, Scott Parker, limped out of their 2-0 d

West Ham look set for a long relegation battle in 2010 - so a good cup run would prove a welcome distraction.

Decimated by injuries, the Hammers lie fourth from bottom in the Premier League table.

Their best player, Scott Parker, limped out of their 2-0 defeat at Spurs last weekend with a hamstring strain which could rule him out. Leading scorer Carlton Cole is in the treatment room while Dean Ashton was forced to retire after battling a long-term injury.

Fullback Herita Ilunga is also a doubt after picking up a hamstring injury at White Hart Lane.


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Desperate West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola has been forced to recall Freddie Sears from Crystal Palace in time for the visit of Arsenal.

The Gunners have already travelled to Upton Park this term, blowing a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 in the league back in October, but haven't played in a cup game in the East End since 1997/98 - when they won in both the League Cup and FA Cup.

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PREDICTION:

Arsenal are back on track and are unbeaten in their last three matches at Upton Park, but despite the Hammers' lame form, the cup, to use a clich�, can be a great leveller.

Arsenal to shade a tight game, 1-0.

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