West Ham United v Stoke City: Premier League match preview

A look ahead to this weekend’s Premier League fixture at Upton Park

Two mid-table, out-of-form sides meet in this fixture which screams “it’s almost the end of the season”. West Ham United, having lost three of their lost four, invite Stoke City, who hope to avoid a fourth straight defeat.

Sam Allardyce’s charges, who have picked up just 11 points in their last 14 games, arguably have more incentive to pull out of tackles than turn their form around. Their best chance of qualifying for Europe comes in the shape of the UEFA Fair Play League, which should grant England with an extra Europa League spot come May, and the well-behaved Hammers are in currently primed to claim that place.

As for the visitors, what price another Charlie Adam 66-yarder? The Scotsman’s tendency to attempt the audacious was pointed out by ex-team-mate Jamie Carragher on the most recent Monday Night Football and, having hit 25 shots from outside the box this season, we’re at least likely to see him try. Don’t, however, hold out too much hope. Last week’s effort was the first of those long-rangers that he’s actually scored.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm

PAST MEETINGS…

Stoke City (Moses, Diouf) 2-2 West Ham United (Valencia, Downing), Premier League, November 2014

Stoke City (Crouch, Arnautovic, Odemwingie) 3-1 West Ham United (Carroll), Premier League, March 2014

West Ham United 0-1 Stoke City (Pennant), Premier League, August 2013

STATS…

West Ham have only managed one clean sheet in their last six Premier League home games against Stoke.

The Hammers are yet to concede at home inside the opening 15 minutes this season. Only Arsenal can match this record.

Stoke have not been involved in a goalless draw during this campaign.

Mark Hughes has won six and lost only one of his last 10 Premier League encounters with Sam Allardyce.

Peter Crouch is one headed goal away from setting a new Premier League record. He currently shares the record of 46 with Alan Shearer.

ODDS…

West Ham to win: 2.30

Stoke to win: 3.40

Draw: 3.40

TV: Highlights on BBC1, 10:30pm

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