Stoke vs Hammers preview
Saturday 18th September
Hammers' boss, Avram Grant may be absent on religious grounds, but no Stoke fan should believe that this game is there for the taking. True, West Ham have yet to pick up a point, but the line between victory and defeat is very thin and it's a position that we so nearly could have been in, had luck not gone our way for a change on Monday night. But we'll be hoping that we can carry forward the confidence that was gained after the Villa victory and make it two wins in five days for the Potters.
Dave Kemp has been sitting in for TP at the regular press conferences this week as he comes to terms with the sad loss of his mother on Monday. But he's assured everyone that Tony will be back in his usual position on the touchline for the 12.45pm kick-off in front of the Sky TV cameras.
Kempie told the press: 'It will be business as usual on Saturday. But as you can probably appreciate, I'm taking on some of his duties in the circumstances.
'Tony has been very touched by all the messages from well-wishers, but despite this being a very difficult time for him, he is hands on as normal.'
Stoke City Team News:
All the reports seem to be indicate that TP will start with the same starting eleven on Saturday with Jones up front with Jon Walters. But is now the time to drop Rory Delap in favour of Jermaine Pennant?
Player to watch: Marc Wilson
Played well in midfield on his debut and while most of us don't know too much about the 23 year old yet he could be one to watch
West Ham Team News:
The pressure is all on the Hammers, but we'll have to wait and see how they cope with it. Ben Haim will be joining his manager in observing the Jewish holiday and will be absent. But they can still pack a punch with the likes of Scott Parker and Carlton Cole.
Player to watch: Robert Green
I doubt if anyone in the Boothen End will be reminding him of his clanger in the World Cup... much!
Match Facts & Stats
Tuesday 21st Sept: Fulham (home) kick-off: 7.45pm * Cup
Sunday 26th Sept: Newcastle (away) kick-off: 4.10pm