FA Cup preview: West Ham vs Leeds - All-Premier League cup clash likely to entertain

West Ham and Leeds probably see their priorities elsewhere, and that should lead to some open football at the London Stadium.

It's an all-Premier League clash at the capital on Sunday as high-flying West Ham host struggling Leeds United in the FA Cup third round.

Both clubs may see the competition as a distraction from more pressing pursuits, but at the same time neither will want to stall some growing momentum after a decent run of results.

The timing of the game, though, may suit West Ham better. They have not been at their strongest at home, but Leeds continue to nurse a lengthy injury list, so the Hammers will certainly go into it as the favourites.

When, where and how to watch

When: Sunday, January 9, 14:00 GMT

Where: The London Stadium

How to watch: ITV

Follow this game via our score centre

Both teams back on the winning trail

It's not been an easy season for Leeds. They have been struck with a nasty case of 'second season syndrome' and results have fallen well short of those they produced last year.

At this stage last season, Leeds had four more points from two fewer Premier League games, but at least things are looking better than they were a few weeks ago.

Marcelo Bielsa's men emerged from a tough run of fixtures to beat Burnley 3-1 in a crucial relegation scrap last week to create some distance between them and the bottom three.

West Ham have similarly put a bad run behind them of late, and breathed fresh life into their bid for Champions League soccer.

Away wins at Watford and Crystal Palace either side of New Year ended a run of five games without success and they now have three successive home games to look forward to - two of them against Leeds.

Last meeting

Leeds 1-2 West Ham (September 25, 2021)

These two sides have already met this season and it was a bit of a heartbreaker for Leeds.

They made a strong start to the contest and found themselves ahead inside 20 minutes courtesy of a Raphinha strike.

The second half was a very different contest, though. A Junior Firpo own-goal levelled things up before Michail Antonio delivered an injury-time hammer blow.

Recent FA Cup form

Last season, West Ham were looking pretty decent in the FA Cup and were probably disappointed to see their involvement end how it did.

David Moyes' men battled to a 1-0 away win at Stockport before a dominant 4-0 success at home to Doncaster.

David Moyes West Ham's third vs Liverpool Nov21

In the fifth round they travelled to Manchester United, with the hosts requiring an extra-time winner from Scott McTominay to settle it.

That was their best performance in the FA Cup wince the 2015/16 season, when they again lost 1-0 at Man Utd at Old Trafford.

Leeds suffered an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Crawley Town in last season's competition and are no strangers to early FA Cup exits.

They have lost in the third round in each of the last four seasons and haven't been further than the fifth round for 19 years.

Past 10 meetings

West Ham wins: 3

Draws: 3

Leeds wins: 4

West Ham scored: 14

Leeds scored: 16

West Ham home form a worry?

Jarrod Bowen West Ham Oct21

West Ham are having another fine season in the Premier League, but is their home form a worry for David Moyes?

The Hammers have won just four of their nine Premier League games at the London Stadium this season, conceding 15 goals in the process.

For context, that is almost twice as many as Southampton and Burnley have conceded at home so far.

However, one thing West Ham certainly can do at home is score goals. Only Manchester City, ChelseaLiverpool and, oddly, Crystal Palace have scored more on home turf this season.

Combined, those two stats should suggest an open, attacking, entertaining game.

All about consolidation for Leeds

Marcelo Bielsa Leeds boss pointing Dec21

There can be little doubt that Leeds' form has worried many fans this season, but context is important.

Leeds are one of the biggest clubs in England, yet in terms of the Premier League they are very much starting from scratch.

There is a perception from supporters and analysts alike that clubs must always be progressing up the table and doing better season-on season or they are failing.

However, the bigger picture tells a different story. Consolidation is everything for Leeds this season. Achieve that, and they start laying the foundations for longevity at this level.

That will probably put the FA Cup at the bottom of Marcelo Bielsa's list of priorities for the season, but on the other hand a momentum-maintaining win could greatly enhance their Premier League aspirations.

READ MORE: FA Cup exits: Mancini and Souness among the Premier League managers who bowed out after bowing out

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