Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Saturday December 27 2008
28th December 2008
Two games in three days but that's the punishing Christmas schedule and the Potters make the trip to London in search of that elusive first away win. The Hammers have had a distinctly up and down season under their new manager, Gianfranco Zola. They picked up a 4-1 win at Portsmouth on Boxing Day to make it five games unbeaten on the road but their home form is more problematic and they haven't won on home soil since September, suffering five defeats and getting only one draw since then.
Tony Pulis has shrugged off speculation about the impending transfer window as Stoke's available manpower was further depleted with Wilkinson's sending off on Boxing Day: 'We have what we have and I'd rather concentrate on picking up a good result against West Ham.
With the Hammers only two points ahead of the Potters, it's all to play for and the home side will be buoyed by the good win against Pompey. Lucas Neill may miss out with the twisted ankle suffered in the first half at Portsmouth as may Kieron Dyer who is still recovering from injury. Craig Bellamy is suspended after picking up his 5th yellow of the season and will be missed after scoring two and setting up the third on Boxing Day.
Cole is now in his third season at West Ham since joining from Chelsea where he'd worked his way up through the ranks amid loan spells at Wolves, Charlton and Villa. With just four goals to his name, he's still joint top scorer this season with Bellamy.
Stoke will have to do without Andy Wilkinson after his double yellow on Boxing Day but it may be too early for a return to the starting eleven for Andy Griffin. Liam Lawrence may be risked after he sat out the Man United game on the bench.
Continues to impress fans with some good play and solid defending and has now added the captain's armband to his list of achievements with the continuing absence of Griffin.
Saturday 3rd January: Hartlepool (away) kick-off: 1pm - FA Cup
Saturday 10th January: Liverpool (home) kick-off 5.30pm - Setanta TV
Saturday 17th January: Chelsea (away) kick-off 3pm
Date:Saturday December 27 2008
Shay's Given Up On Ireland - Keeper Calls It Quits (Friday July 29 2016)
Behaviour Rules - Some Initial Reaction (Friday July 29 2016)
Swansea In For Crouch? (Thursday July 28 2016)
Orlando Win Encourages Hughes (Thursday July 28 2016)
New Rules For 2016/17 - Reminder (Thursday July 28 2016)
Coates Will Be Patient In West Brom Chase (Thursday July 28 2016)
Arnautovic Ends Everton Speculation (Wednesday July 27 2016)
Orlando Will Be A Test - Hughes (Wednesday July 27 2016)
FA Cup Set For 4th Sub Trial (Wednesday July 27 2016)
Match Day Ordering Announced For EFL Trophy (Wednesday July 27 2016)
|King Of The Power Stadium - New Deal
» Leicester City : 29/07/2016 20:41:00
|Has He Finally Lost His Marbles?
» Chelsea : 29/07/2016 19:17:01
|Clasie & van Dijk On Groningen
» Southampton : 29/07/2016 14:48:00
|Puel To Welcome Back Internationals For Groningen
» Southampton : 29/07/2016 14:37:00
|Arsenal Have No Mahrez Plans - Welcome Everton
» Leicester City : 29/07/2016 14:24:01