Stoke: Upton Park preview
Saturday 5th March 2011
This will be the third time that the Potters have come up against the Hammers this season and we've still got another match to come in the FA Cup quarter finals next week, but Tony Pulis will believe that tomorrow's clash in East London will be the most important as a resurgent West Ham attempt to claw further up the table to safety at our expense.
TP will be concentrating fully on the League and will be expecting his players to do the same. He told the official site: 'We have to stay focused on getting to 40 points as quickly as possible and so people have to realise and recognise that it is the priority. We want to do all we can to ensure we stay in the Premier League for a fourth season.'
And so say all of us!
West Ham Team News:
The Hammers will be buoyed by their 3-1 victory over Liverpool last weekend. Influential skipper, Scott Parker seems fit against after a shoulder injury needed pain-killers last week. But they're still without injured trio Jack Collison, Kieron Dyer and Robbie Keane while Junior Stanislas is doubtful due to a hernia.
Player to watch: Demba Ba
The striker was turned down by the Potters when his £7.5m transfer was deemed 'too risky' after a medical showed problems remaining after a knee injury. But he is now on loan at West Ham and his three goals in two starts will be worrying the Potters and delighting Hammers' fans.
Stoke City Team News:
Last Monday's lethargic 1-1 draw against the Baggies drew criticism from the manager and hopefully he's stirred the team into some action for the first of the Hammers' double header. A hopeful sign will be the return of Matty Etherington to his old club as well as the Stoke starting eleven after an operation to realign his jaw bone, aimed at preventing the recurrence of his recent back problems. Jermaine Pennant is a doubt after he was forced off with a hamstring problem on Monday.
Player to watch: Asmir Begovic
The one player who deserved the accolades this week was Asmir. He single handedly ensured that we came away with a point on Monday and saved our incredible record against West Brom of just one defeat in the last 22 years.
Match Facts & Stats
Sunday 13th March: West Ham (home) FA Cup. kick-off: 2pm and live on ITV1
Saturday 19th March: Newcastle (home) kick-off: 3pm