Former Leeds United player makes FA Cup prediction ahead of West Ham United clash

Vinnie Jones has backed Leeds United to knock West Ham United out of the FA Cup as the Whites prepare to travel to the London Stadium for a third round tie on Sunday.

By Flora Snelson
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 4:28 pm

Leeds' 2021/2022 FA Cup journey will begin this weekend with an away tie against the Hammers.

United will travel to East London in search of their first FA Cup win since 2017, when the Whites beat Cambridge United in the third round before getting knocked out by non-league side Sutton United in the next stage of the tournament.

Last season, Leeds fell to defeat in the third round at the hands of League Two outfit Crawley Town, who claimed a 3-0 victory to put an end to Marcelo Bielsa's side's involvement in the competition.

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This year, the Whites were one of fourty-four Premier League and Championship clubs to join 20 teams from tier three and below, including four non-league sides, in the hat for the third round.

Leeds have been drawn one of the more challenging ties of recent seasons, with West Ham, currently fifth in the Premier League, having beaten Bielsa's side twice in the last 12 months.

But one ex-Leeds player has faith in his former side to progress to the next round.

After joining Leeds in the summer of 1989, Jones was part of the side who, led by Howard Wilkinson, achieved promotion from Division 2 in May 1990. The midfielder appeared in all but one league games as the Whites charged to the Division 2 title and sealed a place in the top-flight for the following season.

Vinnie Jones celebrates against Sheffield United on the eve of Leeds' promotion in April 1990. Pic: YPN.

After scoring five goals over 46 appearances for the Whites, Jones departed Elland Road aged 25 for Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United in September 1990 having lost his place in Wilkinson's team.

His former club remains firmly in his thoughts, though, and this week Jones has predicted that the Whites can keep up the positive progress made during Leeds' Premier League victory over Burnley.

"Well done Leeds for getting back on the winning trail, incidentally," Jones told easyodds.

"And I reckon Leeds can continue the good work shown at Burnley with another victory against the claret and blues - this time West Ham - at the London Stadium.

Vinnie Jones celebrates after Leeds United's promotion-winning match against Bournemouth in May 1990. Pic: Ben Radford.

"The Hammers are flying in the Premier League, but might just ease off a touch for the FA Cup?"

Giving his tips for every FA Cup tie of the weekend, Jones backed Leeds to come out on top and qualify for the fourth round.

Jones also tipped non-league sides Kidderminster Harriers and Leyton Orient to advance and, when asked for his favourite cup upset, selected Wimbledon's 1988 FA Cup final victory over Liverpool, but reflected fondly on the Leeds' 1-0 win over age-old rivals Manchester United.

"More recently Leeds winning at Old Trafford in 2010 comes to mind," Jones said. "My Elland Road pals loved that!

Jermaine Beckford celebrates the winner during Leeds United's 1-0 victory over Manchester United in 2010. Pic: Paul Ellis.

"Leeds were in League One then, remember, but a Jermaine Beckford winner did the trick at Old Trafford and cheered the Yorkshireman during troubled times."

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