West Ham United welcome Stoke City to Upton Park this weekend, as both teams look for their second win of the season.
The Hammers defeated newcomers Cardiff City on the opening day of the season but could only manage a draw against Newcastle United last week. Home form has always been a strong point for Sam Allardyce’s side and they will be hoping to benefit from that on Saturday.
Stoke are heading to London on the back of a win over Crystal Palace at the Britannia stadium last weekend, and will be looking for that second win that will ease the pressure on new manager Mark Hughes. The Potters will be hoping for a better showing against West Ham this time round, as they failed to beat them in both fixtures last season.
If you are looking to put some money on the match then you can look at odds provided by Pinnacle Sports where West Ham are favourites to win at 2.010 on a 1×2 bet.
West Ham is still without summer signing Andy Carroll up front, but otherwise have a healthy squad available for this game.
Stoke City have added Liverpool’s Oussama Assaidi to their ranks on a season long loan, and the winger could be available to make his debut against West Ham on Saturday.
Eurosport have some interesting statistics for this match:
West Ham have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four Premier League games at home.
Stoke have only won one of their last 12 away games in the Premier League.
There have been just nine goals in the last five league games between the two sides.
West Ham have won two and drawn two in their last four league games against Stoke.
West Ham – Kevin Nolan
Kevin Nolan has been hugely influential for the Hammers since his move from Newcastle and will be one of the main players that Stoke will have to stop on Saturday. The captain has scored one goal from five shots in two games so far this season, and against Newcastle he completed 20 passes from 26, giving him a 77% accuracy rating. Of these passes, 35% went forward with only 19% going back, showing his ability to get West Ham’s attack moving. If Stoke can keep Nolan’s presence limited, then West Ham could find it hard to get going.
Stoke – Jon Walters
Jon Walters is undoubtedly one of, if not Stoke’s best hope in attack. The Irishman did well in the final third for the club last season, and has been making his presence felt in the two games against Liverpool and Crystal Palace this season. He’s taken five shots in total so far with only one going off target. Two of those shots were actually blocked by the keeper in the game against Crystal Palace, and he had a 100% shooting accuracy against Liverpool at Anfield. He has created one chance for his team-mates in each game, resulting in an assist in the game last weekend against Palace. While Walters is not Stoke’s only attacking threat, he’s a big part of how they play and West Ham will have to pay particular attention to him.
Neither team is known for exciting football but West Ham have a bit more about them going forward. As stated before, they have a good record at home and I think this will continue in their match against Stoke. Ultimately, it will be a fairly tight game in my opinion and end 1-0 to West Ham.