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Stuart Dalgleish 24th Feb 2009 - 16:12

Zola to dash Southgate’s Cup dreams again

Middlesbrough have been on appalling form in the last few months and the last thing Gareth Southgate would've wanted was an FA Cup replay. But Boro's inability to hold on to their lead at Upton Park on Valentine's Day means that the Teesiders will once again lock horns with Gianfranco Zola's West Ham United side.

The Hammers have been a tough nut to crack away from home recently - defeat at Bolton last weekend was their first since October, and in that time they've earned creditable draws at Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Middlesbrough, on the other hand, have won only once at The Riverside this year - their last home win, barring an expected victory over minnows Barrow in the third round, was a two-nil success over Man City.

Coincidently, the win over Mark Hughes' team came on the same day in October of West Ham's away defeat to Man Utd - the Londoners last defeat on the road before losing to the Trotters.

The home side are slight favourites at 8/5 purely because of their territorial advantage, but that has only worked for them five times this season, two of those coming against Barrow and Yeovil. The draw is 9/4 which I don't think either manager would welcome. If you think that Zola can get the better of Southgate in the Cup again (the Italian was part of the Chelsea team which defeated Aston Villa, captained by Southgate, in the last Cup Final at the old Wembley) then you can get an attractive looking 17/10 on an away win.

Be sure to join us for the 20:10 kick-off - when the action gets underway you'll still be able to get a bet on. Whatever happens in the match, our betlive service will have all the angles covered.

Middlesbrough v West Ham - Wednesday 20:10

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