Carling Cup: West Ham vs Stoke City Preview

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Carling Cup: West Ham United vs Stoke City Preview
West Ham have had a poor start to the season; their recent disappointment coming only last weekend when they lost to Newcastle United at home. They now have a chance to redeem themselves when they take on Stoke City in the Carling
The last time these sides met was at the Britannia Stadium last month and the match ended in a 1-1 draw. However, a lot has changed since then and the chance to win silverware is at stake this time around, as both sides will be
looking to outdo the other in hopes of going through to the next round.
Team News
West Ham Captain Matthew Upson is still uncertain for the fixture as manager Avram grant revealed that a late fitness test will decide the centre half’s involvement, or lack of it, in the game. Upson was forced to withdraw himself
after suffering a hamstring problem during the defeat to Newcastle United.
Frederic Piquionne, the West Ham striker, who sustained an injury during the same defeat, might also miss the game, while defender Lars Jacobsen is definitely out as he is cup tied -  the player featured for Blackburn Rovers in
their second round fixture against Norwich City.
The former Chelsea manager is also without long term absentees Thomas Hitzlsperger, Jack Collison, Zavon Hines and Peter Kurucz. Hitzlsperger has a thigh injury which has prevented him from returning, while the latter three are
all suffering from different sorts of knee injuries.
Tony Pulis, the Stoke City manager, has some players back in the squad which will undoubtedly strengthen the squad for the upcoming game. Dean Whitehead returns to the squad after serving a one match suspension.
Tuncay Sanli, the recently out of favour striker may be recalled to the squad after his sensational display and equalizer against Manchester United last weekend. The striker came on as a substitute in Sunday’s game and the difference
he made was prominent.
Late signing Marc Wilson will be unavailable since the player also is cup tied; he played for Portsmouth in earlier rounds and thus cannot feature for Stoke City. Also, Matthew Etherington and Danny Collins are waiting on late
fitness reports to decide their fate; both suffered minor injuries on Sunday.
Possible Starting XI
West Ham United: Stech; Faubert, Tomkins, Da Costa, Ben Haim; Barrera, Noble, Parker, Boa Morte; Obinna, McCarthy.
Stoke City: Begovic; Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Higginbotham; Whitehead, Whelan, Diao, Tuncay; Gudjohnsen, Walters.



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