FA Cup third-round weekend rounds off with West Ham looking to avoid a slip-up as they head to non-league Stockport County.
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It's really not that long ago that Stockport County were a stalwart of the Football League, but since the heady days of a prolonged stay in the second-tier and a run to the League Cup semi-finals in the late '90s it's been mainly downhill for the Hatters.
Finally though, they're back on an upward trajectory and fourth in non-league's top flight. It's fitting then, that they should now face West Ham only a couple of weeks on from the 25th anniversary of their famous victory en route to the League Cup last four.
A repeat of that shock would be altogether more seismic on Monday night, with four divisions, not two, separating the clubs nowadays, and the disparity between levels undoubtedly more stark.
But the bookies are twitchy about the National League club's chances. The best price of 8/1 on a home win is terrible value all things considered.
Only twice has a non-league team ever knocked a Premier League club out of the FA Cup - Lincoln beat Burnley in 2017 and Luton beat Norwich in 2013 - and I don't see this being the occasion of the third strike of lightning.
Jim Gannon's team are doing well this term, driven by Wayne Rooney's younger sibling John, who's already bagged nine goals from central midfield.
Like his big brother, John is partial to the odd spectacular free-kick so his 14/1 price on giving Stockport a shock 1-0 lead could be a bit of fun if you wanted to back the underdogs in some capacity.
West Ham are enjoying an excellent season under David Moyes, and are certain to avoid being dragged into a relegation battle that has seemingly been whittled down to a handful of Premier League teams already.
That should give him license to make absolutely certain of the Hammers' place in round four, but even with a raft of changes he has plenty of squad depth to dig into.
At this stage a year ago, he went strong and West Ham battled to a 2-0 win at Sky Bet League One Gillingham, a real banana-skin, and in this season's Carabao Cup, the second string dealt gamely with lower-league opponents Charlton and Hull, thrashed 3-0 and 5-1 respectively.
While I wouldn't be shouting from the rooftops about the 4/11 price on the Irons winning at Edgeley Park, the fact that they aren't far shorter means there is value to be had in backing them away from the outright.
They're 13/10 to win to nil at an opponent 86 places below them in the pyramid. I find that baffling considering this Hammers team kept clean sheets away at Everton and Southampton in their past two games.
Several months in the treatment room prevented Craig Dawson from making his West Ham debut after signing on loan from Watford, but he has come into the fold of late and had a major impact on their improved defensive displays.
He's still getting up to speed, so I expect the former West Brom man to start as Moyes beds him in as a good utility option at right or centre-back.
In recent seasons, Dawson's goalscoring has tailed off a little, although he has never dropped below two in a full campaign during his career, usually bagging a fair few more.
Prior to making the step up to the top flight, few defenders could boast a better scoring record as he ran riot in the opposition boxes of lower-league teams both at set-pieces, and occasionally in open play, netting a staggering 22 times in his first two seasons as a professional.
No team has been more potent than West Ham from set-plays in the Premier League this season, so this could be a match made in heaven now he's fit and up against a non-league outfit.
He is generally priced at 22/1 to break the deadlock and 15/2 to score anytime. My money is on the latter.
Score prediction: Stockport 0-3 West Ham (Sky Bet odds: 13/2)
Odds correct at 1400 GMT (07/01/21)
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