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League Cup

  • 27 October 2010
  • • 19:45
  • • Boleyn Ground, London
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 25304

West Ham United - Stoke City Preview: Hammers sweat on fitness of Upson and Piquionne whilst Tuncay could be recalled for the Potters

West Ham United - Stoke City Preview: Hammers sweat on fitness of Upson and Piquionne whilst Tuncay could be recalled for the Potters


West Ham United

Manager Avram Grant will wait to assess the fitness of centre-half Matthew Upson after he was forced off in their defeat to Newcastle with a hamstring problem.

Striker Frederic Piquionne could also miss the game after picking up a knock in the same game.

Defender Lars Jacobsen will definitely miss Wednesday's clash with Stoke as he is cup-tied after featuring for Blackburn Rovers in their second-round victory over Norwich City.

Grant is still without long-term absentees Thomas Hitzlsperger (thigh), Jack Collison, Zavon Hines, and Peter Kurucz (all knee).

Possible Starting XI: Stech; Faubert, Tomkins, Da Costa, Ben Haim; Barrera, Noble, Parker, Boa Morte; Obinna, McCarthy.

Stoke City

Potters' boss Tony Pulis has midfielder Dean Whitehead available after serving a one match suspension.

Striker Tuncay is expected to be recalled to the starting eleven after his sensational strike to equalise against Manchester United after coming on as a substitute last Sunday.

New signing Marc Wilson is unavailable after playing for Portsmouth in an earlier round of the competition and Pulis will also check on Matthew Etherington and Danny Collins - who both picked up slight knocks in the 2-1 loss to United.

Pulis has admitted he will make a few changes with both Eidur Gudjohnsen and Danny Higginbothom expected to start the game.

Possible Starting XI: Begovic; Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Higginbotham; Whitehead, Whelan, Diao, Tuncay; Gudjohnsen, Walters.

Hammers looking to ease pressure on Grant

West Ham will be hoping to progress to the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup in order to ease the pressure on Avram Grant.

The Israeli manager has suffered a disastrous start to the season and it looks as if his side could well be embroiled in a relegation battle this season.

The Hammers were poor in their last Premier League game, slipping to a 2-1 defeat at home to Newcastle United. Striker Andy Carroll's aerial presence caused the shakey Hammers defence problems during the game and there is no doubt that Tony Pulis will have taken note of this.

West Ham will reach the quarter-finals for only the second time since 1999 if they beat Stoke at Upton Park this Wednesday.

London holds no fear for Potters

Stoke will travel to Upton Park this Wednesday evening, knowing that they have a good record in the capital city. Three of their four away victories last season came in London - with wins at Tottenham, Fulham and at West Ham themselves.

This is the third successive season that the Potters have reached the fourth stage of the League Cup - before that they went out in the first or second round for seven years in a row.

The Potters won the League Cup for the only time back in 1972 but their victory in this years' third round against Fulham was the first time they have beaten a top-flight side in the League Cup in 10 years.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
34Marek StechGoalkeeper
18Julien FaubertMidfielder
5James TomkinsDefender
22Manuel Da Costa TrindadeDefender
26Tal Ben HaimDefender
17Pablo Edson BarreraStriker
28Scott ParkerMidfielder
-Radoslav KovacDefender
34Boa MorteMidfielder
17Benni McCarthyStriker
9Carlton ColeStriker
1Robert GreenGoalkeeper
2Winston ReidDefender
23H. IlungaDefender
85Valon BehramiMidfielder
16Mark NobleMidfielder
-Frank NoubleStriker
33Victor Nsofor ObinnaStriker
1Asmir BegovicGoalkeeper
4Robert HuthDefender
28Andy WilkinsonDefender
17Ryan ShawcrossDefender
3Danny HigginbothamDefender
7Jermaine PennantMidfielder
6Glenn WhelanMidfielder
18Dean WhiteheadMidfielder
-Tuncay ŞanlıMidfielder
19Jonathan WaltersStriker
9Kenwyne JonesStriker
20Carlo NashGoalkeeper
25Abdoulaye FayeDefender
23Michael TongeMidfielder
24Rory DelapMidfielder
8Tomás DabóMidfielder
-Danny PughMidfielder
7Eidur Smari Gudjohnsen Striker
Players to Watch
Scott Parker
Scott Parker
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 28
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 0 0
The English midfield general is the key to any chances the Hammers have of avoiding relegation this season. If they are too have any chance of defeating the Potters on Wednesday then Parker will have to perform well.

At times Parker is relied upon too heavily by West Ham and on several occasions last season he was forced to use his passion and energy to raise the team's level of performance.

His battling qualities will be crucial against a physical Stoke team.
Tuncay Şanlı
Tuncay Şanlı
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Turkish forward player has found himself on the fringes of Stoke's first team this season and has been linked with moves away from the Brittania Stadium.

He undoubtedly has the skill and technical ability to succeed in the Premier League but manager Tony Pulis often prefers the more physical options that he has available.

However, after scoring against Manchester United on the weekend, Tuncay will have a chance to shine on Wednesday night. He is capable of providing a match winning moment and could be the key to unlocking the West Ham defence.

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