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

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West Ham United v Stoke City – English Premier League: Match Preview
As West Ham United gear up to face off against Stoke City on Saturday evening, 5th of March 2011 at Upton Park stadium, let’s take a look at how both the English clubs will line up for this exciting Premier League tie.
West Ham United
Deep inside the drop zone, West Ham United will be looking to gain all three points against Stoke City to pull themselves out of the relegation mire.
However, such a task is easier said than done. Currently, 19th in the English Premier League table with just 28 points from a total of 28 matches, West Ham have not been firing on all cylinders this season.
The Hammers might have won three out of their last five encounters whilst drawing once and losing once, Avram Grant’s men have found themselves wanting against stronger opposition.
Nonetheless, the London club side showed tremendous character in their latest 3-1 win over in the last round of Premier League matches. West Ham’s last home encounter against Stoke City took place in October of 2010 in the Carling Cup, a match
that the Hammers won with ease by a final score line of three goals to one.
Stoke City
Languishing in mid-table mediocrity, Stoke City have neither been disappointing nor exciting this season.
Tony Pulis’s men have performed sufficiently in the 2010-2011 Premier League season, a trend which has allowed them to sustain a mid-table 10th place spot in the Premier League rankings at the moment. Out of their last five competitive fixtures,
the Potters have won twice, lost twice and drawn once.
Their latest Premier League encounter against relegation threatened West Bromwich Albion ended in a one all draw at the Britannia Stadium. Pulis will definitely be looking to add all three points to Stoke’s tally of 34 points from a total of 28 games
this season with a win against West Ham United on Saturday evening.
Team news
West Ham United have several injury concerns heading into the tie against Stoke City. The Hammers will be without the services of Junior Stanislas, Jack Collison, Kieron Dyer and as all four players are sidelined due to their various injury
However, Avram Grant’s men will take pride in the fact that is scheduled to take his place on the West Ham bench after a long injury lay-off since the start of the 2010-2011 season.
Expected West Ham United line-up: Green Tomkins, Upson, Bridge, O'Neil, Parker, Hitzlsperger, Piquionne, Spector,, Cole
Stoke are planning to hold a last minute fitness check for their two wingers, Mathew and Jermain Pennant. Both are doubtful for the tie against West Ham United at Upton Park.
Additionally, Tony Pulis will be without the likes of both the players are long term injury casualties for the Potters.
Expected Stoke City line-up: Begovic,
Key players
West Ham’s goal scoring responsibilities will rest with Demba Ba, Avram Grant’s latest acquisition has already scored three goals in his last three matches and he is a favourite to add his fourth goal in his fourth consecutive match for the Hammers.
On the other end, Kenwyne Jones is set to take up the goal scoring mantle for Stoke City at Upton Park. The ex-Sunderland man hasn’t been firing on all cylinders thus far in the 2010-2011 season as he has only netted five goals thus far for the Potters.
Despite the fact that Stoke City have experienced a higher rate of success in the English Premier League this season, West Ham United’s recent form means that they will be favourites to win this tie.
Prediction: West Ham United 2 – Stoke City 1
The views expressed by the writer are his own and do not reflect the editorial policy of



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