Having only made the third round last season, there is real hope that this over-performing Hammers side can make a real impression in the cup, and, on current form, an easy run in the following rounds could be enough to see the East London club reach the Final for the first time since 2006. Although they are still on course to fight for a Premier League finish inside the European qualification places, reaching another cup final could be the tip of a wonderful season for Sam Allardyce’s side.
However, the money for a Premier League finish far outweighs that which is which received for even winning the FA Cup, and many owners would prioritise securing a larger income over winning a trophy, even if it looks better for the manager, and makes the fans more happy.
Writing in the Standard, Allardyce has addressed this conflicting view between the Premier League and the FA Cup, and he has admitted that he would happily prioritise cup success ahead of a higher finish in the league.
He said: “It would be lovely for us, though, to get to Wembley this season and I would sacrifice a place or two in the Premier League table if we could reach the FA Cup Final.”
Regardless of his desire to reach the final, Allardyce is expecting a tough game on Sunday, with League One side Bristol City expected to field a strong side to overcome their top flight rivals in a ‘giant-killing’.
“Certainly, though, it won’t be easy against Bristol City on Sunday,” the 60-year-old added. “Steve Cotterill’s team are flying, they play with a back three and two big lads up top. He will pick a strong team, for sure, and although there is always a risk that one of your key players picks up an injury, none of his men will want to miss the chance of playing against West Ham at their place.”