Stoke City v West Ham United

West Ham haven't beaten Stoke in their last seven meetings since Jack Collison scored the winner in March 2013

    TEAM NEWS

    Stoke manager Mark Hughes is hopeful Jon Walters will be available this weekend despite nursing a knee injury.

    Jack Butland will keep his place in goal after returning from 13 months out with ankle problems last week.

    West Ham striker Andy Carroll has been ruled out again with a groin injury, but Mark Noble and Sam Byram return from suspension.

    However, Cheikhou Kouyate, Winston Reid, Arthur Masuaku and Diafra Sakho are all injury doubts for the Hammers.

    MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

    Simon Brotherton: “There are two clubs who haven’t performed as well as they would have hoped this season but have managed to keep a decent buffer between themselves and those anxiously looking over their shoulders at the scramble for Premier League survival.

    “A single point separates the teams in the table with Stoke in 11th and West Ham lying 14th – seven points clear of the relegation zone at the moment.

    “It’s hard to pick a winner here, with Mark Hughes’ side having lost five of the last six and West Ham winning only one of the last 10, though they are unbeaten in the last three.”

    Twitter: @SimonBrotherton[1]

    WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

    Stoke manager Mark Hughes: “The mood’s fine. We’re looking forward to the game. It’s an important one for us, clearly.

    “We were obviously disappointed with the result last weekend[2] but, I’ve said all season, when we’ve had a disappointment, more often that not we’ve bounced back.

    “And I fully expect us to have a good performance in front of our home crowd, get past 40 (points) and see if we can finish the season on a high.”

    West Ham manager Slaven Bilic: “People are talking about who is safe but it is irrelevant. We have four games left, a big game on Saturday and we are looking for points.

    “There is a gap between us and mid-table, it is a small gap but with four games to go we are talking about 12 points and we have to concentrate on our next game.

    “We are approaching them as four cup finals.”

    LAWRO’S PREDICTION

    Stoke did not manage their first league win until mid-October and have had quite an up and down season, but I actually think they will finish the campaign strongly.

    Five points from their past three matches have taken West Ham clear of the relegation dog-fight, but I still don’t see them going to Stoke and winning.

    Prediction: 2-0

    Lawro’s full predictions v Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar[3]

    • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game[4]
    Saido Berahino hasn't scored in his last 24 games in the Premier League<!–

    MATCH FACTS

    Head-to-head

    • Stoke are unbeaten against West Ham in the Premier League under Mark Hughes (W3, D4), although four of the last five meetings have been draws.
    • The Hammers have only won one of their last seven away trips to Stoke in all competitions (D2, L4).

    Stoke City

    • Stoke have lost five of their last six games, with their only points coming in the win against Hull in their last home match.
    • They have failed to score in four of their previous seven league games.
    • The Potters have 39 points from 34 matches – only once before in the Premier League have they had fewer points at this stage of the season (37 in 2012-13).
    • Saido Berahino has gone 11 games without scoring for Stoke since joining from West Brom in January. He last scored in February 2016, although he has scored in three of his four starts against West Ham in the Premier League.

    West Ham United

    • West Ham have only won one of their last 10 league matches but they are unbeaten in their last three league games, with two draws and one win.
    • They have kept two clean sheets in their last three league matches following a run of 10 games without one.
    • The Hammers have scored a league-high 20 goals from set pieces this season.
    • Slaven Bilic’s side have conceded in the 83rd minute or later in each of their last four Premier League away games.
    SAM’s verdict
    Most probable score: 1-1 Probability of draw: 26%
    Probability of home win: 44% Probability of away win: 30%

    SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

    References

    1. ^ @SimonBrotherton (twitter.com)
    2. ^ the result last weekend (www.bbc.co.uk)
    3. ^ Lawro’s full predictions v Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar (www.bbc.co.uk)
    4. ^ Predictor game (www.bbc.co.uk)

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