Mark Lawrenson predicts West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United

Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson looks ahead to Saturday’s FA Cup tie between West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United.

Mark Lawrenson has predicted in his BBC Sport column that the FA Cup tie between West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United on Saturday will end in a draw.

The former Liverpool defender believes that the fifth-round tie at The Hawthorns will finish 1-1, with West Ham to win the replay.

“I hope this is an open game where both sides go for it,” the 57-year-old wrote on BBC Sport.

“They are both in decent form - West Brom have only lost one of their last eight games, and for West Ham it is one defeat in nine.

“It will be close, though. Neither side will want a replay, especially the Baggies who are still trying to get clear of trouble, but I think that is what they will end up with.”

Could Mark Lawrenson’s prediction come true?

Saturday’s tie at The Hawthorns does indeed promise to be fiercely competitive, and one suspects that the opening goal will be crucial.

If the Baggies score an early goal, then they will be in a good position to go on and win the tie.

That does not mean that West Ham are not capable of staging a comeback, but West Brom are in good form at the moment and playing at home will certainly give them an advantage.

Tony Pulis’s side will head into Saturday’s encounter on the back of a 2-0 victory over Swansea City at home, and they will be determined to build on that with victory over West Ham.

West Ham do have the better team, but playing away from home in an FA Cup tie is tricky.

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