This tie has ‘cupset’ written all over it – so much so that the bookies actually have the Championship side as slender favourites. Sam Allardyce’s West Ham are sinking like a stone in the Premier League, with no wins in their last six matches, while upwardly mobile Forest are unbeaten in seven and sitting comfortably in the Championship play-off places.
Forest manager Billy Davies bemoaned his side’s lack of cutting edge as they slipped to a late draw against Reading on New Year’s Day, but they should get plenty of chances to rediscover that clinical touch against a struggling West Ham back four missing James Tomkins, James Collins and Winston Reid.
A defeat at the City Ground will surely heap further pressure on beleaguered Hammers boss Allardyce, and he will also have to make do without two of his most experienced midfielders, with Mark Noble picking up an injury and Kevin Nolan a red card against Fulham. This looks like a golden opportunity for Forest to reach the fourth round for the first time in three seasons.
KICK OFF: Sunday, 12pm
LAST THREE MEETINGS:
West Ham United 2 (Noble 2) Nottingham Forest 1 (McGugan), Championship, January 2013
Nottingham Forest 1 (Findley) West Ham United 4 (Nolan, Cole, Chambers og, Reid), Championship, August 2012
West Ham 3 (Obinna 3) Nottingham Forest 2 (Adebola, McGoldrick), FA Cup, January 2011
West Ham have won 7 of the last 9 meetings between the sides.
Forest haven’t beaten West Ham in the Cup since the 1991 semi-final at Villa Park, which they won 4-0.
West Ham have conceded 11 goals in their last 4 matches.
Nottingham Forest have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 6 matches.
Nottingham Forest to win: 2.15
West Ham United to win: 3.5
TV: Live on ITV1 at 12pm. Highlights on ITV1 at 10.45pm.