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West Ham are enjoying a fine season and hold their best ever points tally in the Premier League after 19 games, moving three points ahead of Chelsea as they trail the Champions League spots by just two points.
They’ve now won four on the trot over Everton, Stockport, Burnley and West Brom, though each victory came by a one-goal margin as three finished 1-0 and the other 2-1.
That’s despite David Moyes putting out a strong line-up when taking on the fifth-tier outfit in the previous round of this competition, as the Hammers haven’t fared too well in the FA Cup in recent years.
The Premier League side haven’t made in past the fourth round in any of the last four campaigns and since 2018, each of their eight FA Cup matches have come against lower-division outfits.
Five of these were clashes with League One teams like Doncaster and two were Championship opponents, in addition to their recent trip to Stockport, though the Hammers only went W3-D2-L3 across these.
Under 2.5 Goals
Doncaster can’t be underestimated having won nine of 11 matches heading into this fixture, though despite the good form, only two of those victories came by a two-goal margin as they’ve been narrow triumphs.
We’d expect them as underdogs here to keep things as tight as possible and of those last eight FA Cup games West Ham have played, all but one of them saw at least one team fail to score and fewer than three goals in total, while half of them saw just one strike or none at all.
Doncaster have a clean bill of health and David Moyes is only without left-back Arthur Masuaku, though he won’t want to risk Michail Antonio given the forward’s regular hamstring problems and the sale of back-up option Sebastien Haller to Ajax.
With that in mind, and given under 1.5 goals has landed in four of West Ham’s past five in all competitions as they’ve conceded just one goal, we’d expect the hosts to just get the job done rather than thrill or entertain.
West Ham To Win To Nil
Indeed, West Ham haven’t scored more than twice in a game since mid-October, a span covering 15 matches, while their visitors possess one of the better defensive records in League One.
Doncaster surprised Championship outfit Blackburn with a 1-0 success in the previous round, but West Ham’s sturdy defence should hold out for a narrow win, with a fourth 1-0 success in five outings a distinct possibility.