English Premier League – Match Preview: Stoke City versus West Ham United

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English Premier League – Match Preview: Stoke City versus West Ham United
Two clubs that are top contenders to struggle in the bottom half of the Premier League table, West Ham and Stoke take on each other in their fifth English Premier League game of the season. Stoke City and West Ham were contenders
for relegation even before the season kicked off. After earning their promotion to the English Premier League about two season ago under their manager Tony Pulis, Stoke have established themselves as a mid table league side.
In the summer transfer window that concluded on the 1st of September, 2010, Stoke made massive investments in their squad. They secured the transfer of Kenwyne Jones from Sunderland. The Trinidadian striker has since
then added a unique dimension to Stoke’s characteristically robust attack. The Potters also spent money on securing Eider Gudjohnson’s services, the Iceland international who used to play for Barcelona and Chelsea is still waiting to make his first appearance
for the English league club. Eider is a renowned goal scorer and is also quite adept at playing as a supporting striker if the need be.
His versatility is also an asset for Tony Pulis who was absent from Stoke’s during the last match due to family issues. In their last match against Aston Villa, Stoke pulled off a marvellous comeback, both the teams played out
a Stoke win but it wasn’t easy for Tony’s men as they went one nil down but showed great resilience and determination to fight back in order to claim their first two points of the season. Villa were quite good themselves at the Britannia stadium but Stoke
were ushered on by their home support. This support gave them the extra edge which allowed them to win the match by two goals to one.
West Ham United on the other hand will come to Stoke after losing against Chelsea in their last English Premier League side. Avram Grant is already the bookies favourite manager to be the first English team manager to lose his
job in the 2010 calendar year. It has been a tough start for the Hammers, who were defeated by Aston Villa in their first game of the season back in August by a score line of four goals to nil.
In their second match, they got battered by Bolton, who dominated the game and ended up as eventual winners by three goals to nil at Upton Park. West Ham took on Manchester United in their third match of the season and quite predictably
shipped in three goals to lose the man three one at the theatre of dreams i.e. Old Trafford. Therefore, West Ham’s form going into this match is “sad” to say the least.
Grant’s team did play some good football against Chelsea but the ruthless efficiency with which the Blues attacked was too much to handle for the fragile West Ham United defence. The game against Chelsea also saw Robert Green pull
off another howler in front of the goal. The English national team goal keeper who was at fault at the FIFA 2010 World Cup as well for his national team against U.S.A has been in abysmal form this season but the Israeli manager, Grant has still backed him
to perform.
West Ham will travel to the Britannia stadium without the likes of Zavon Hines and Jack Collison who are absent with injury. Danny Gabbidon and Thomas Hitzlsperger are also unlikely to feature for the London side who have not in
any of their last twenty away games in the English Premier League. Stoke’s suspect defensive organization presents itself as an ideal opportunity for West Ham, to get their season back on track.
Stoke are not slouches in attack themselves, after scoring two in 10 minutes against Villa, they do have sufficient firepower in their attack to trouble the likes of West Ham. A draw is the most favourable result in this match
as neither of the teams are strong enough to get a win but both of them are capable of producing a goal filled thriller.



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