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Nic Ladds 23rd Jan 2009 - 20:10

Noble can keep Zola smiling

Chris Turner may only be caretaker manager but he would enjoy a victory over West Ham as much as anyone in the club and odds of 7/2 say his Hartlepool side can do just that.

West Ham seem to have turned things around this season and are 4/5 favourites to deny Hartlepool a place in the fifth round for the first time in their history while the draw is 5/2 in the betting.

Gianfranco Zola has got The Hammers to solid position in the Premier League which should allow him to field a full-strength team which has just been shorn of Craig Bellamy.

It would seemingly not matter though after they battered Fulham 3-1 without him and Carlton Cole's good form can continue and he is 4/1 to score the first goal.

His strike partner David Di Michele has looked useful and is no forlorn hope at 11/2 to find the back of the net first while Mark Noble chips in his fair share and is reasonable 7/2 to find the back of the net at any point in the game.

Hartlepool play the ball around a lot for a lower division team and don't really play the rough long ball game that ruffles a lot of the big team's feathers indicating they may struggle playing a similar game to The Hammers.

They have some useful players however and the likes of Joel Porter and Liam Henderson will be hoping to trouble the West Ham defence and are 15/2 and 9/1 in the betting to bag the first goal.

Victoria Park is a tough place to go with conditions often treacherous and a relatively low scoring affair could ensue.

The Hammers should prevail but a score line like 2-0 at 11/2 or 2-1 at 7/1 looks in the right area.

If a shock is to unfold perhaps odds of 9/1 about 1-0 Hartlepool may tempt you with 1-1 at 6/1.

The most likely looking double result could be West Ham/West Ham at 8/5 or if you think Hartlepool will hold out for longer then draw/West Ham is available at odds of 10/3 in the betting.

Hartlepool have already dumped Stoke out of the competition but an in-form Hammers side is a different story.

There should be no upsets on the cards here and come 90 minutes Zola should be all smiles knowing (as many already do) that he got a fantastic deal for Bellamy and moving on should be no problem.

Mark Noble to score anytime - 7/2
West Ham half time/West Ham full time - 8/5

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