Stoke City Match Preview
By Tom Dowsett
Friday 31 Oct 2014 17:21:00
Browse all Match Previews articles

Since the defeat at Old Trafford on 27 September, West Ham United have chalked up routine wins against newly-promoted Queens Park Rangers and Burnley though most ardent Hammers' fans were not expecting to beat last season's Premier League champions Manchester City last weekend. After achieving this feat, they will be hoping to make it for consecutive victories by taking all three points away from Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

Near the end of last campaign, the club's loyal fan base were calling for Sam Allardyce to be removed from his post but this season, the Irons have been playing some really impressive football and a fourth win on the spin at the Britannia Stadium will be a great way to prove that the result against the Citizens wasn't, just a flash in the pan.

The visitors have an indifferent record in the potteries, as although Andy Carroll gave them the lead on their last trip they went on to lose the game 3-1, whereas in 2012/13, Jack Collison scored the only goal, meaning that they took all three points back home with them.

Since they were promoted back to the top-flight, West Ham have had a dip in form during November and December. Given their current run, they will be hoping for a change in fortunes this time around.

The East Londoners will be the fresher of the two sides going into the game after Stoke suffered their second loss to Southampton inside a week, as the Saints knocked them out of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night. Mark Hughes' side will be missing two players from that game as Peter Crouch and Phil Bardsley are both suspended.

Big Sam might decide he needs to make changes for this game and may include James Tomkins, Joey O'Brien, Kevin Nolan, Cheikou Kouyate, Matt Jarvis and Mauro Zarate, while Enner Valencia may play as a lone striker, or be partnered by Carlton Cole if Diafra Sakho fails a late fitness test after picking up an injury to his shoulder in the last match. If Cole does feature, he will be making his 200th Premier League appearance for the club.

Saturday's encounter is a 3pm kick-off and Chris Foy takes charge.

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