Dan Coker's Match Preview

Blast from the past

West Ham United have met Manchester City in the FA Cup on four previous occasions, including one replay. The first of these meetings was in the fourth round at Maine Road in front of 26,495 on the 25th January 1998. Usher was number one with ‘You Make Me Wanna’ and Titanic had just been released in UK cinemas as the Premier League Hammers emerged victorious against the First Division Sky Blues with a 2-1 win. Future City schemer Eyal Berkovic gave the Hammers the lead in the 28th minute but Georgi Kinkladze scored a stunning solo goal to equalise just before the hour mark. West Ham captain and former City midfielder Steve Lomas notched the winner in the 76th minute, driving home a loose ball from the edge of the penalty area. Iain Dowie made his final appearance in claret and blue as an 87th-minute substitute.

The Hammers progressed to the fifth round, where they beat Blackburn on penalties in a replay, but would be knocked out by eventual Premier League and FA Cup Double winners Arsenal in a heart-breaking penalty shoot-out defeat after a barnstorming Quarter-Final Replay at the Boleyn. Lomas was voted runner-up to Rio Ferdinand in the Hammer of the Year voting.

Manchester City: Tommy Wright, Richard Edghill, Ian Brightwell, Kit Symons, Murtaz Shelia, Georgi Kinkladze, Michael Brown, Jeff Whitley, Uwe Rosler, Paul Dickov, Craig Russell.

West Ham United: Craig Forrest, Steve Potts, Rio Ferdinand, David Unsworth (Tim Breacker), Ian Pearce, Frank Lampard, Eyal Berkovic, Steve Lomas, Stan Lazaridis, Samassi Abou (Iain Dowie), John Hartson.

Aside from this fourth round victory in 1998, West Ham’s remaining FA Cup record against Manchester City is as follows:

2006 – Man City 1-2 West Ham (Quarter-Final)
2008 – West Ham 0-0 Man City (3rd round)
2008 – Man City 1-0 West Ham (3rd round replay)

Club Connections

A large group of players have turned out for West Ham United and Manchester City. Divided by playing position, they include:

Goalkeepers – David James, Perry Suckling.

Defenders – Wayne Bridge, Stuart Pearce, Tal Ben Haim, Tyrone Mears.

Midfielders – Marc-Vivien Foe, Kevin Horlock, Mark Ward, Eyal Berkovic, Steve Lomas, Frank Lampard Junior, Michael Hughes, Ian Bishop, Trevor Sinclair.

Strikers – Carlos Tevez, Craig Bellamy, Phil Woosnam, Justin Fashanu, Trevor Morley, Paulo Wanchope, Clive Allen, David Cross, George Webb.

Malcolm Allison and John Bond join Stuart Pearce as West Ham players who have gone on to manage City.

Today’s focus though is on an Israeli international who excelled with the Hammers for two seasons in the late ‘90s before later joining City in 2001. Eyal Berkovic began his career with Maccabi Haifa in 1989, winning a league and cup double in 1991 before moving to Southampton on a season-long loan in 1996. He announced himself on the Premier League stage by scoring twice and providing three assists in a 6-3 win over Manchester United at The Dell.

Harry Redknapp swooped to sign Berkovic for West Ham United for £1.75m in the summer of 1997, beating Tottenham in securing the deal. Berkovic’s Upton Park career got off to a flying start, scoring what proved to be the winning goal ironically against Tottenham in a 2-1 home victory for the Hammers on 13th August 1997 and finishing the month with a goal in the 3-1 home win over Wimbledon. Berkovic also scored the winning goal as the Hammers beat Liverpool 2-1 at the Boleyn Ground the following month and struck again in the 3-0 win over Bolton. His first away goal came in a 2-1 defeat at Leicester before he netted in a 4-1 triumph over Crystal Palace. Only one league goal was to follow after Christmas, in a 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday, but the classy playmaker made his mark on the Hammers’ run to the FA Cup quarter-finals, scoring in the 2-1 fourth round win at Manchester City and in the 2-2 home draw with Blackburn in the next round. Berkovic saw his penalty saved by Arsenal’s Alex Manninger as the Gunners won through to the semi-finals via a dramatic sudden-death penalty shoot-out, which also saw John Hartson and Samassi Abou hit the post with their spot-kicks.

1998/99 saw Berkovic notch three goals – another winner against Liverpool at Upton Park as the Hammers triumphed 2-1, a strike at The Valley as Charlton defeated the Hammers 4-2 and a sweeping finish from a Paolo Di Canio cutback against Derby in a 5-1 home win. The season was marred by a training ground incident which saw Berkovic kicked in the head by Hartson. His final game in claret and blue saw him have a hand in all four goals as the Hammers beat Middlesbrough 4-0 to secure fifth place in the Premier League and InterToto Cup qualification. Berkovic had joined the club soon after a relegation fight but his two seasons in east London saw the club record two top-eight finishes, the latter remaining our second highest-ever league finish of fifth. Having played a crucial creative role, providing numerous assists from his attacking midfield position, Berkovic signed for John Barnes’ Celtic in the summer of 1999 for £5.75m. He had scored 12 goals in 79 appearances in all competitions for West Ham United.

After two years in Glasgow, which included a loan spell at Blackburn, Berkovic signed for newly-relegated Manchester City in the summer of 2001 for £1.5m. Part of an attacking formation under Kevin Keegan, Berkovic scored in his first game at Maine Road in a 3-0 win against Watford. The Sky Blues went on to win the First Division (now Championship) title, recording 99 points and registering 108 goals. Berkovic was instrumental in a 3-1 Manchester derby triumph the following season as City established themselves back in the Premier League and was voted the 2002/03 player of the season by the club’s magazine.

After a fallout with Keegan and having scored 7 goals in 56 league appearances for City, Berkovic rejoined his former manager Redknapp at Portsmouth in January 2004. He helped his new employers to beat City 4-2 on his debut but, a year later, decided to return to his home country, signing for Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Berkovic announced his retirement from playing in May 2006 at the age of 34. Now 44, Berkovic has managed Maccabi Netanya and Hapoel Tel-Aviv and is currently the owner of Hapoel Rishon LeZion.

Referee

The referee on Friday will be Michael Oliver. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Oliver has refereed eight of our league matches, officiating in two wins for the Hammers and six defeats.

Oliver was the man in the middle for the Irons’ 2-0 reverse at Chelsea two seasons ago and also sent off Kevin Nolan at Anfield three seasons ago. His only Hammers appointments last season were for the 2-1 home victory over Southampton in December and the 4-1 home defeat to Swansea in May.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United have Alvaro Arbeloa, Arthur Masuaku, Gokhan Tore and Diafra Sakho on the injury list. Sam Byram, Reece Oxford and James Collins are back in training. Slaven Bilic is boosted by the availability of Sofiane Feghouli but is without Cheikhou Kouyate and Andre Ayew.

Manchester City are expected to be without the injured Vincent Kompany, Fabian Delph, Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane. Pep Guardiola, who has stated he will not rotate with the tie away to a Premier League side, is also without the suspended Fernandinho.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Nordtveit, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Obiang; Antonio, Lanzini, Payet; Carroll.

Possible Manchester City XI: Bravo; Sagna, Otamendi, Stones, Clichy; Toure; Navas, De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling; Aguero.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!