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West Ham v Middlesborugh – Match Preview

The FA Cup 5th round replay between West Ham and Middlesborough at the Riverside gets underway tomorrow. When the replay date was confirmed, West Ham decided to give fans free travel. A late kick off, starting at 8:10pm will create a cold but hopefully intense atmosphere as the evening matches always gets everyone pumped up.

TEAM NEWS:

James Collins is out for up to a month with a hamstring injury and so James Tomkins could start. Lucas Neill, back from suspension could also be an option at centre back along with new signing Radoslav Kovac. Although Neill is more likely to play right back. With Dean Ashton still out new signing Savio Nsereko could get his first start after setting up Herita Ilunga in the first FA Cup match between these two sides.

KEY BATTLES:

Matthew Upson v Afonso Alves

Upson will have a tough job tomorrow to contain the hungry Brazilian striker but the England defender should be able to control him as he has a wealth of experience against good opposition and he will look to feed Scotty Parker with some good ball straight from defense to cath Middlesborough on the counter attack.

Jack Collison and Valon Behrami v Stewart Downing

These two versatile wingers will need to contain last times goalscorer a little better than last time and they need to especially watch out for Downings vicous crosses and shots from long range. Both have been instrumental in West Ham’s season and I think they have what it takes to not only defend but attack wiith confidence and effectiveness.

Carlton Cole and I hope Savio Nsereko v All Middlesborough defenders

They will cause trouble and both these two together could and I think that they will be a great partnership and I think it is about time that our record signing should start for us as he has impressed me during his camio run outs as a subsitute. Carlton Cole will be hungry to get on the scoresheet again and cement his place in the England squad for the upcoming internationals. 

MY TEAM:

ROBERT GREEN

LUCAS NEILL                            RADOSLAV KOVAC                 MATTHEW UPSON                      HERITA ILUNGA

                                                                     SCOTT PARKER

VALON BEHRAMI                                                                                                                       JACK COLLISON

                                                                      MARK NOBLE

                                   CARLTON COLE                                     SAVIO NSEREKO

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