17th October 2009
There's a big incentive to hammer the Hammers at the Brit on Saturday as they're one of only four clubs that we didn't manage to take any points off last season.
West Ham are hanging on to the hope that the record books will work in their favour again since we've not beaten them on home soil since 1983, as their recent form does not give them any encouragement with their only win so far being in the first game of the season away to Wolves.
The Hammers may be languishing in the bottom three at the moment, but there is no way we should treat them as a push-over and certainly Tony Pulis is galvanising his team and the fans into banishing memories of that lack-lustre performance at the last home match against Man United:
'It's similar to the Tottenham scenario last season when they got off to a bad start,' Pulis said this week.
'Like Spurs, West Ham have too many good players to stay in the position they are currently in and I am sure it won't be long before they are climbing the table.
'We have to give the fans something to shout about, especially after the last home game against United when everything seemed to go very flat.'
Stoke City Team News:
Glenn Whelan may be rested after two World Cup matches for Ireland over the last week and returning with a slight calf injury. Meanwhile, Lawrence, Sorensen and Tuncay all seem to have returned unscathed from their World Cup travels and should be available.
Mamady Sidibe inches closer to being available for selection after he returned to training with the rest of his teammates this week.
Pulis has to, again, make a choice as to who is going to make up his front line - with Fuller, Kitson, Beattie and Tuncay all challenging for the two striker slots. Salif Diao is likely to be given another start as TP seems likely to stay with the same eleven that started at Everton.
Player to watch: Kitson/Tuncay
Dave Kitson maybe our top scorer (who'd have believed it!) but he may still find himself on the bench if TP sticks with Beattie and Fuller, who both started at Goodison two weeks ago. Tuncay has had a disappointed time for Turkey after they failed to qualify for the World Cup finals, but it's going to be becoming harder to keep him out of the starting eleven as he adapts to the Potters' style.
West Ham Team News:
Scott Parker is suspended after picking up five yellow cards in just seven games (even beating our own yellow card king, Ric Fuller, to that unenvious milestone) and Kieron Dyer is injured.
Player to watch: Robert Green
The international keeper was forced to miss England's match in midweek after being sent off for bringing down Milevskyi in the match against the Ukraine, but has therefore been able to return earlier than expected to train with the Hammers.
Match Facts & Stats
Martin Atkinson. Yes, he's the one who added on all that time so that Man United could beat Man City a few weeks ago....
Sat 24th Oct: Spurs (away) kick-off: 3pm
Tue 27th Oct: Portsmouth (away) kick-off: 7.45pm Carling Cup
Sat 31st Oct: Wolves (home) kick-off: 3pm