West Brom vs West Ham – Match preview and team news

West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United contest the opening FA Cup fifth round tie, with the hosts looking to reach the last eight for the first time since 2002.

Head Coach Tony Pulis was left to hail the best performance since he took charge of Albion when they triumphed 2-0 over Swansea City in the Premier League on Wednesday evening. The Welshman, who took Stoke City to the final in 2011, appears to have a burgeoning strike partnership with Brown Ideye finding his scoring touch alongside Saido Berahino.

Along with their opponents, this represents a good chance for the Baggies to go a long way in this competition with several of the top clubs already out, and they will be confident after winning three of their last four home games.

The visitors have had to show real fight to reach this stage, needing a marathon penalty shootout to eventually see off the spirited challenge of Everton before overcoming a stern examination from League One leaders Bristol City. They needed more resilience to hold on to a goalless draw at Southampton on Wednesday with 10 men.

But it could be said that they are lucky to have this game, having survived the threat of being expelled from the FA Cup. Diafra Sakho got the winner at Bristol City when he could have been on international duty, but the Londoners escaped with a fine.

Darren Fletcher is cup-tied for West Brom, who have doubts over Victor Anichebe. West Ham striker Andy Carroll is set to miss the rest of the season so misses out, although Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan should return.

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