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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

West Ham may again struggle to tame the Shrews

Lower-league outfits up for the FA cup fight

Shrewsbury's Abumere Ogogo (left) tussles with West Ham's Josh Cullen
1 of 1

FA Cup third-round replays
From 7.45pm Tuesday

ShrewsburyStevenage and Mansfield could be forgiven for thinking they’ve missed their moments in the FA Cup, though it would be daft to write off any of them going into their third-round replays.

The Shrews get a big thumbs-down from the layers even though they were the better side in their televised 0-0 draw with West Ham.

And David Moyes didn’t even field a particularly weak team at the New Meadow – little wonder he was furious with his lads for the limpness of their effort against the Sky Bet League One promotion chasers.

At a half-full London Stadium, on a bitterly cold night with a strong wind blowing, it may not pay to expect too much more from the Hammers. The Shrews were going well in the league until Saturday’s reverse at Blackburn and will be right up for the contest and another chance to show their qualities.

The same goes for Stevenage, who drew 0-0 with Reading. Borough won the corner count 11-1 which shows, if nothing else, that they threw all they had at the Royals in the original tie.

The pressure is now on Reading at the Madejski where Jaap Stam’s men have won just two of their last 12 outings.

Reading have scored only two goals in their last seven, have got a relegation scrap to fret over and should expect a stern challenge from a Stevenage side who have improved markedly in recent weeks.

Mansfield and Cardiff pits together Steve Evans and Neil Warnock, surely any fourth official’s double from hell.

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They were pretty well behaved in the first meeting at Cardiff, but then there was nothing in the match to get excited about. Virtually three sides of the ground were empty, Warnock made changes and Mansfield did well.

Back at Field Mill, where Mansfield have only lost one of 13 in Sky Bet League Two, expect another close contest.

The Stags are unbeaten in seven and Warnock, who has plenty of injuries to worry about, won’t play anything like his strongest team.

Shrewsbury or draw double chance
2pts 7-5 bet365, Betfair, Paddy Power
Stevenage or draw double chance
1pt 17-10 Betfair
Mansfield draw no bet
1pt 9-5 Betfair

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The pressure is now on Reading at the Madejski where Jaap Stam’s men have won just two of their last 12 outings
E.W. Terms
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