Stoke - West Ham Preview: Allardyce's side hoping to avoid seventh-straight away defeat
The Hammers have collected one point from their last nine games on the road but will fancy their chances against a Potters back-line shorn of the banned Robert Huth
By Arthur Virgo
Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Wilkinson
Shotton, Whelan, N'Zonzi, Etherington
Demel, Collins, Reid, O'Brien
O'Neil, Diame, Taylor
Cole, Carroll, Jarvis
Stoke will be without Robert Huth after the German received a retrospective three-match ban for an elbow against Fulham meaning Marc Wilson or Geoff Cameron could partner Ryan Shawcross at centre-back.
Ryan Shotton or Andy Wilkinson could also come into the back four, whilst Charlie Adam may well make a return to midfield after a spell on the bench.
Winger Matthew Etherington (knock) remains a doubt and so Michael Kightly or January arrival Brek Shea could come into the side.
Meanwhile, former England striker Michael Owen (thigh) is also doubtful.
For West Ham, both Guy Demel (knock) and James Tomkins (illness) are unlikely to make the game whilst left-back George McCartney (fitness) and Dan Potts (head injury) are unavailable.
Top-scorer Kevin Nolan (broken toe) is out and Mark Noble (shoulder) is doubtful meaning Gary O’Neil could continue alongside Matt Taylor or Jack Collison.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Stoke have managed one win in their past eight league matches but remain in the top half of the table and nine points clear of the relegation zone in tenth place.
- The Potters have lost just one of their last 20 league matches at the Britannia Stadium but, having kept five clean sheets in their opening six home games this season, they have now conceded in each of their last nine league matches.
- West Ham have won one and lost five of their last seven matches, and are now just six points above the drop zone having slipped to 14th following a strong start to the season.
- The Hammers have lost each of their last five away matches in the Premier League and won none of their last eight, conceding 13 goals in their last four on the road.
- The last fixture between these sides finished 1-1 at Upton Park in November, with Joey O’Brien scoring his first-ever Premier League goal to cancel out John Walters’ opener.
- Both teams are well known for the aerial threat they pose in attack, and Peter Crouch (7.8, pictured) and Andy Carroll (10.4) are third and first respectively in the league for aerial duels won per game.
- Tony Pulis’ team have taken fewer shots than any other side in the Premier League, and just one of their 26 league goals this season has been scored from outside the area.
- Sam Allardyce’s side have allowed more opposition shots on target from outside the box than any other team in the Premier League this season, while goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen has made more league saves than any other goalkeeper this season (109).
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Top 3 Predictions
Stoke City 1-1 West Ham
- 13.46 %
Stoke City 2-1 West Ham
- 13.46 %
Stoke City 1-0 West Ham
- 11.54 %
|Premier League (EPL)||15 Mar 2014||Stoke City 3 - West Ham 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||31 Aug 2013||West Ham 0 - Stoke City 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||2 Mar 2013||Stoke City 0 - West Ham 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||19 Nov 2012||West Ham 1 - Stoke City 1|
|FA Cup (FA)||13 Mar 2011||Stoke City 2 - West Ham 1|
|15 Mar 2014||Stoke City 3 - West Ham 1||EPL|
|8 Mar 2014||Norwich City 1 - Stoke City 1||EPL|
|1 Mar 2014||Stoke City 1 - Arsenal FC 0||EPL|
|22 Feb 2014||Manchester City 1 - Stoke City 0||EPL|
|12 Feb 2014||Stoke City 1 - Swansea City 1||EPL|
|12||Ricardo Vaz Te||Striker|
The 25-year-old won his first England cap in November and will have to use all of his experience and aerial ability to face up to West Ham’s giant striker Andy Carroll.
His season’s goal tally stands at just three since his loan move West Ham, and he will be keen to improve upon that before returning to parent club Liverpool.
With target-man Andy Carroll having returned to their attack, Sam Allardyce’s side could take the opportunity to end their own poor run, and cancel out their opponents.