By Nick Teale
West Ham United are enduring a difficult season in the Premier League.
Only goal difference is keeping them out of the bottom three at the moment and they aren't expected to be able to afford any new players in the transfer window.
So this Sunday's FA Cup clash with Arsenal could offer them a chance to kick off the New Year on a high.
Ahead of the game, we spoke to Dave Evans of the Newham Recorder to get an Upton Park perspective on the tie.
"Gianfranco Zola is keen to have a good run in the Cup but obviously survival in the Premier League is the top priority. We're into the New Year and things aren't looking too rosy. I'm sure he'll look forward to a game against Arsenal in the Cup but his top priority is definitely the League."
THE MAN IN CHARGE
"Despite the fact that they're not playing particularly good football, the fans are right behind Zola. He is a likeable man and that might be part of the problem he's had turning things around; he's just such a nice guy. But he's trying to play the hard man a bit. He's been having a go at his players and just recently he had a go at a referee, something he hadn't done at all in his first year at the club."
IMPRESSIONS OF ARSENAL
"They came from two goals down to draw with Arsenal in October and on that day Robin van Persie scored and of course he's not available this time. I think West Ham felt that the Gunners' attack was a little bit fragile that time and I think the Hammers will take confidence from that."
CAUSE FOR CONCERN
"I'm not sure Zola knows exactly why it's gone wrong in the first place and having gone wrong what can be done about it. He was in a similar situation last season and it turned around over the Christmas period but they don't look quite as convincing as they did last season and nor does Zola. His body language isn't as impressive as last season. The main problem is that he's lost Carlton Cole [to injury] and he has to cope without him.
"The financial problems will restrict West Ham in the transfer window. If they want to bring anybody in it may well be somebody on loan or if he wants to buy somebody he would need to sell a player to fund it. There won't be any huge spending so it will probably be a quiet January."