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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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.
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.
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Top 3 Predictions
WHU0 - 0
WHU2 - 1
WHU1 - 0