West Ham vs Stoke City Preview | Team News, Stats and Key Men

West Ham vs Stoke City Preview | Team News, Stats and Key Men

The once Europe destined West Ham United have faltered and are currently battling it out to finish in the top half of the Premier League. The Hammers have been abysmal in the last few weeks as they have managed to scrape a measly 4 points out of a possible 15 in the last 6 games. They host Stoke who seem considerably better in form than the North-Londoners.  With West Ham and Stoke tied on 42 points in the 9th and 10th spot respectively, the match gains abundant value to the respective fan bases around the globe. To add to that, both the manager will be looking to maintain a buffer of points against the approaching and in-form Crystal Palace.

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Team News

West Ham

Striker Andy Carroll (MCL Knee Ligament) and defender James Tomkins (Dislocated shoulder) remain sidelined for this game with their respective long-term injuries. However, Ecuadorian striker Enner Valencia is expected to be in contention for the Hammers on Saturday.

Stoke City

The Potters have no short term injury worries going into this match. However, youngster Krkic (ACL Knee Injury), who was showing signs of his potential before getting injured, as well as striker Peter Odemwingie  (ACL Knee Injury) remain out of their game against West Ham as they recover from their injuries.

Interesting Facts

This will be the 78th meeting between these sides in all competitions.

Of the 77 games played between the sides,  West Ham have won 31 games, Stoke City have won 28 games, while the rest have ended as draws.

At Home Stoke have won 21 of their 39 ties against West Ham.

 Possible Line-Up

West Ham

Adrian, Jenkinson, Collins, Reid, Cresswell, Kouyate, Song, Noble, Downing, Nolan, Sakho

Stoke City

Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Wilson, Adam, Whelan, N’Zonzi, Ireland, Diouf, Walters

Key Men

Alex Song      

The former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder has been a vital cog in this West Ham side. Serving the duration of his year-long loan at London, the midfielder has upped his stock in the market with some resilient performances in the centre of the park. He has drawn a lot of praise from critics and fans alike. The midfielder will be the key to success against the Potters who are known for their dominant displays physically. His ability to break play as well as build play from the deep positions could help West Ham break down Stoke City. The Cameroon international has done all the good work of attracting the right footballing attention this season and will be looking to finish on a high before evaluating his options for the coming season.

Charlie Adam

The combative midfielder made the headlines last match day with an audacious beyond-the-half-line goal against Courtouis, who has been picked out as one of the best keepers in the league by many pundits. The former Liverpool midfielder has otherwise kept himself busy unshackling the opposition with skill and brute alike. Adam has been flying frequently into tackles apart from making crucial interceptions and blocks through the season, despite often being used from the bench. He will need to break the link between Downing and the Hammers strike force for Stoke to etch out a significant result on Saturday.

Head-To-Head

2014/2015 Stoke City 2 – 2 West Ham Utd. Premier League
2013/2014 Stoke City 3 – 1 West Ham Utd. Premier League
West Ham Utd. 0 – 1 Stoke City Premier League
2012/2013 Stoke City 0 – 1 West Ham Utd. Premier League
West Ham Utd. 1 – 1 Stoke City Premier League

 Prediction

The first game between these two sides this season ended in a draw. While Sam Allardyce will be keen to reverse the current form of his team, he will also know that Stoke aren’t opponents who get blown away easily. We predict a 0-1 Stoke victory at Upton Park.