Last season: 1-1.
Odds: West Ham Evs, Draw 12/5, Stoke 19/10
Both sides come into this game off the back of an encouraging week after league wins last weekend and each managing to book themselves a place in the third round of the League Cup.
In the league West Ham have yet to concede a goal and have picked up four points from their first two games, whilst Stoke managed to recover from a goal down to pick up their first win of the campaign against Crystal Palace.
Stoke should have Wilson Palacios available after he missed last week’s win against Palace through illness, and Mark Hughes may decide to start with Kenwyne Jones up front after his hat-trick in the Potters’ 3-1 win over Walsall in midweek.
West Ham are still without Andy Carroll who continues his recovery from an ankle injury whilst Jamie Ness is the only player who is unavailable for selection for the visitors.
Stoke might need to revert to their old school style of player to combat Sam Allardyce’s despite Mark Hughes’ brief to try and change their style from the previous regime of Tony Pulis. It could still be a game for those who like their football rough and tough.
It could be another close affair like last season but West Ham’s decent home record during Sam Allardyce’s time at Upton Park means that the Hammers start this game as slight favourites.
Last time they met
A Jack Collison goal just before half-time gave West Ham all three points at the Brittania Stadium as the Hammers managed to overcome some poor away form. Stoke manager Tony Pulis wasn’t happy, saying that Andy Carroll had dragged Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross in the build up to the goal. The result meant that both sides moved to nine points ahead of the drop zone going into the business end of the season.
image: © law_keven