In one of only three FA Cup third-round fixtures between Premier League sides, West Ham plays host to Leeds United on Sunday.
Both teams have some excellent attacking talents, which should mean this is one of the most exciting fixtures of the round. The latest soccer betting odds list West Ham as -140 home favorites.
West Ham vs Leeds Betting Preview
- Game: West Ham United F.C. vs Leeds United F.C.
- Location: London Stadium, London, England, U.K.
- Date/Time: Jan. 10, Sunday, 9 a.m. ET
|West Ham||-½ (-140)||-140||2½ (-125o)|
|Leeds||+½ (+110)||+360||2½ (-105u)|
Head to Head
West Ham have won their last three matches vs Leeds, including a 2-1 comeback win at Elland Road earlier this season. All three meetings in recent years have been since Leeds were promoted to the Premier League in 2020. Leeds last beat West Ham in 2003 but lead the all-time series.
West Ham’s Vulnerable Backline
West Ham went 3-0 up at Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day and looked excellent in the first half. Michael Antonio broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute while Manuel Lanzini scored on a left-footed screamer minutes later. Lanzini added another goal just before the half as the West Ham attacking midfielder converted a penalty.
Crystal Palace gave West Ham a second-half scare, getting two goals back in the final ten minutes, but the Hammers ultimately won 3-2. David Moyes’ side have now won two consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since mid-October.
Just one point behind fourth place Arsenal, West Ham are contending for a Champions League place. They can also qualify by winning the Europa League and they’re one of the most popular soccer picks to do so. With starting center backs Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma both out, it’ll certainly be a challenge.
While Ogbonna is presumed to be out for the season with an ACL tear, Zouma is expected to return within the next month from his hamstring injury. West Ham are relying on Issa Diop and Craig Dawson at the back and have conceded two or more goals in four of their last five matches in all competitions.
The Hammers won two games in last year’s FA Cup before falling to Manchester United 1-0 in the fifth round.
Leeds Also Having Defensive Issues
Leeds United have been incredibly unlucky at times this season with injuries and COVID issues. Four key players in center back Pascal Struijk, midfielder Kalvin Phillips, second striker Rodrigo, and striker Patrick Bamford are all out due to injury.
With an injury crisis on his hands, manager Marcelo Bielsa came under fire for the first time during a rough stretch. Before defeating Burnley 3-1 last week, Leeds dropped three consecutive Premier League matches.
On their losing streak, Leeds were outscored 14-3 by opponents who are all in the top four. They kept things close vs Chelsea in a 3-2 loss but got destroyed 7-0 vs Manchester City and followed it up with a 4-1 loss to Arsenal.
Bielsa’s Leeds are energetic and willing to attack but they’ve been a sieve defensively. Leeds have conceded the third-most goals in the Premier League and it’s hurt having Struijk miss time. Leeds were embarrassed 3-0 by fourth-tier club Crawley Town in the FA Cup last season.
Stylistically both teams are attack-minded, which could mean a wide-open and exciting match. West Ham’s front four of Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio, Said Benrahma, and Pablo Fornals have been excellent to watch this season. However, Benrahma is with Algeria for the African Cup of Nations so he won’t be available for this match.
Leeds have their share of injuries but don’t have any players taking part in AFCON. Regardless, I’m expecting a fair number of goals in this one with two vulnerable backlines, so I’d take the sportsbook over.
Over 2½ goals at -125 looks to be a good bet.