This week’s Monday Night Football sees West Ham United welcome Stoke City to the London Stadium in Premier League.
This is a must win for Stoke as they sit in 19th spot and six points behind Swansea City, who like West Ham have a game in hand on those around them.
West Ham could have Andy Carroll available for first time in over four months, after recovering from an ankle injury.
James Collins (hamstring), Manuel Lanzini (knee) and Aaron Cresswell (knee) could also all return here.
Michail Antonio and Pedro Obiang are out for remainder of season with thigh and knee injuries respectively.
No return date has been announced for defenders, Winston Reid (knee) and Sam Byram (foot).
Stoke are without the suspended Charlie Adams for this game but he will be back next weekend, alongside the expected return of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting from a hip injury.
Konstantinos Stafylidis (abdominal) and Lee Grant (hand) are both ruled out of this match.
Jese Rodriguez and Ibrahim Afellay are still internally suspended.
West Ham come into this game unbeaten since returning from the international break, having lost four of their last five matches before that fortnight off.
Stoke are winless in last nine games, drawing four and losing five.
Their last away game saw them in London at Arsenal, losing 3-0.
Top scorer, Xherdan Shaqiri hasn’t scored since mid February when he found the net in three consecutive games.
- West Ham’s win at Stoke earlier this season ended a run of five draws from previous eight meetings beforehand (D5 L3).
- The last three meetings between these teams at West Ham’s ground have finished as draws with one of those games being 0-0 whilst the other two finished 1-1.
- West Ham last completed the double over Stoke in 2008-09 when it was the Potters’ first Premier League season.
- London Stadium has seen West Ham take back to back home wins just once, back in December 2016.
- Stoke have the worst defence, conceding 63 league goals this season which is the fourth worst in Europe’s top five leagues, behind Las Palmas & Metz (64), Deportivo La Coruna and Benevento (73).
- In last seven trips to London, Stoke have lost all of their games, conceding 26 and scoring five.
Where can game be won or lost?
|Per Game Average||West Ham United (home)||Stoke City (away)|
|Shots on Target||3.4||3.31|
|Goals per First Half %||42.1||50|
|Goals per Second Half %||57.9||50|
This definitely doesn’t have a thriller written all over it.
West Ham better the attacking department when it comes to clinical finishing because both sides seem evenly matched on target.
Stoke are consistent throughout in terms of when they score goals on the road, so I can see them needing to get a goal in first half if want something out of this.
If not then the Hammers will be favourites in second half to win this for my liking.
West Ham will be buoyant by their form of past two weeks and a few key players like Carroll and Lanzini could be back here.
That will only serve to boost belief whilst Stoke just can’t seem to score away from home.
I can see this being a home win but only just.
Prediction: West Ham United 1-0 Stoke City
Jake predicts: West Ham United 2-0 Stoke City
Result: West Ham United 1-1 Stoke City