Pellegrini To Take Strong Squad For Wimbledon FA Cup Tie

Hammers manager Manuel Pellegrini has to perform a balancing act as he takes his team to the FA Cup 4th round tie against AFC Wimbledon, mindful of Tuesday evening's Premier League fixture away against Wolves which is a Europa League six pointer, he has to field a strong team tonight but without risking over using those players who have just emerged from a frenzied Christmas and New Year program.

With the Arnie returns story doing the rounds, it is anticipated that Arnoutovic along with Felipe Anderson will be on the bench, with Pellegrini giving starts to youth and fringe players but keeping his powder dry just in case. This will be a very tricky fixture with Wimbledon now managed by ex-Hammers coach Wally Downes, as it is a cup match it will act as a relief from their awful league form giving them a chance to make amends with their long suffering fans.

BT Sport are featuring this match for live broadcast and you can guarantee their cameras are going to be there in anticipation of a giant killing, their conjecture backed up by the fact that Wimbledon gave Hammers a run for their money in the League Cup and were only narrowly defeated despite going down to ten men in the opening minutes.

This is a 'proper banana skin' game for Pellegrini to navigate his way through, a good cup run would do wonders for morale and represents a potential route in to European competition, however the Wolves game coming so soon after this one will have him desperately trying to 'protect' his important players while at the same time send out a team that can do the job.

It doesn't matter if it is a 'win ugly' game, Pellegrini is known for his love of his teams playing 'the beautiful game', however he has shown where ever he has managed that he is not above being pragmatic when he feels it is necessary, and tonight he will need his team to have broad shoulders because this is the opposition's Cup Final and they will be playing out of their skins. - Ed Team news to follow

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mcbikeman's picture

Normally as a west ham fan you think sh*t lower league team away on tv but as we have already been there done that and won at the dons i expect too see us get through again simply because we are a far far better team and the fact playing there is not going to be a surprise as already done it so i am anticipating a very comfortable victory COYI

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mcbikeman's picture

i believed but how stupid was that.... west ham showed me the error of my ways...

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