West Ham United v Stoke City - Follow LIVE text commentary

27 March 2010 03:00
West Ham United v Stoke City

Follow every kick as West Ham United take on Stoke City at Upton Park in the Premier League
on 27-Mar-2010, kick off time 15:00

West Ham United v Stoke City Live

West Ham United must put the disappointment of Monday night's 3-1 home loss to fellow Premier League strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers to the back of their minds ahead of their weekend clash with Stoke City. The Hammers are sat in a perilous position at the wrong end of the table and are currently just three points ahead of Burnley and Hull City, who sit in the drop zone. Five consecutive defeats has placed manager Gianfranco Zola under intense pressure and a success against Tony Pulis' industrious Potters will be a tough ask. Stoke sit in 12th position after a fantastic season and with just two defeats in 11 league fixtures, they will be looking for a further triumph to propel themselves back into the top-half of the table. West Ham should take heart knowing Stoke have collected just two victories from 14 games on the road this term. Earlier in the campaign, Stoke edged out Zola's side 2-1 at Britannia Stadium. James Beattie opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Matthew Upson's header restored parity. However, Beattie was at the double and his second-half effort secured all three points for the home side. The corresponding fixture at Upton Park last season resulted in a 2-1 win for the Hammers on that occasion. Abdoulaye Faye's bullet header handed Stoke an early lead, but Carlton Cole's equaliser five minutes into the second period levelled matters. A last-gasp winner from Spanish striker Diego Tristan grabbed the win for the Londoners and they would settle for more of the same this time around. Zola is still without knee victims Zavon Hines and Luis Boa Morte, who are both expected to sit out for the rest of the campaign. Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross (ankle) and midfielder Salif Diao (calf) are rated as doubts and Beattie's knee surgery could force him out for the remainder of the season. Enforcer Dean Whitehead will sit out through suspension after his dismissal in the 2-1 home loss to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

Source: DSG

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