STOKE CITY v WEST HAM UNITED
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 2 MARCH 2013
KICK-OFF: 3PM
REFEREE: JON MOSS
FULL AUDIO AND TEXT COMMENTARY - WEST HAM TV

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Introduction

• West Ham United travel to Stoke City hoping to end a horrible run of form on the road in the Barclays Premier League. The Hammers have lost their previous five away matches since drawing 0-0 at West Bromwich Albion on 16 December. Overall, West Ham have won two, drawn two and lost nine of their 13 previous away league games.

• Stoke's away form has also not been great, with the Potters having lost their previous four away league matches. However, that will be irrelevant as their form at the Britannia Stadium has been good this season, where they have lost just once in 13 league games.

• West Ham start the weekend in 14th - their lowest position of the season. The Hammers dropped one place following Monday's 3-2 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur. Stoke remained tenth, despite going down to a 1-0 defeat at Fulham on Saturday.

• A 2-0 victory for the Hammers would take them above their hosts on goals-scored. Fulham, Norwich City and Newcastle United are all away from home on Saturday and, should results go West Ham's way and they pick up three points, Sam Allardyce's team could rise to tenth. Should Stoke win, they would remain tenth.

• The two clubs have met just seven times in the Barclays Premier League, with West Ham United winning three, Stoke City winning two and two ending in draws.

Team news

West Ham United

• Big Sam could be without captain Kevin Nolan (toe) and his fellow midfielder Mark Noble (arm). Nolan was injured in Monday's defeat by Spurs, while Noble was hurt in training the previous week and missed that fixture.

• Right-back Guy Demel was forced off late on in Monday's game with a tight hamstring, but could be fit to start at the Britannia Stadium.

• Left-back George McCartney has returned to training following a knee ligament injury.

• James Tomkins missed Monday's defeat with a virus and is struggling to shake off the effects of his illness in time for the trip to Stoke.

• Alou Diarra (Stade Rennais), Rob Hall, Ravel Morrison (Birmingham City) and Stephen Henderson (Ipswich Town) are all out on loan.       

Stoke City

• Germany defender Robert Huth starts a three-match ban after being found guilty by the FA of violent conduct in last Saturday's defeat at Fulham.

• Left winger Matthew Etherington is rated as '50-50' to shrug off a back injury by Stoke manager Tony Pulis.

• Former England striker Michael Owen missed last Saturday's defeat at Fulham with a thigh strain but could return on Saturday.

• Former Hammers captain Matthew Upson (Brighton and Hove Albion), Danny Higginbotham (Sheffield United), Matthew Lund (Southend United), Rory Delap (Barnsley), Florent Cuvelier (Walsall), Jermaine Pennant (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor) and Mamady Sidibe (Tranmere Rovers) are all out on loan.

Last time out

West Ham United

• West Ham United suffered a frustrating evening on Monday, when a late Gareth Bale rocket secured a 3-2 Barclays Premier League victory for Tottenham Hotspur at the Boleyn Ground. Bale had earlier given Spurs the lead before Andy Carroll's well-struck penalty levelled things up before half-time. Joe Cole then put West Ham ahead on 58 minutes and Matt Taylor was denied by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris before substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson bundled in a 76th-minute equaliser. It was then left to Bale to settle matters, lashing an unstoppable 30-yard shot high into Jussi Jaaskelainen's top corner.

West Ham United 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Barclays Premier League
Monday 25 February 2013
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel (Pogatetz 72), O'Brien, Reid, Collins, Diame (Collison 84), Nolan (Taylor 36), O'Neil, Jarvis, J.Cole, Carroll
Subs not used: Spiegel, Chamakh, C.Cole, Vaz Te
Goals: Carroll 25 (pen), J.Cole 58

Stoke City

• Stoke City suffered their fourth consecutive away Barclays Premier League defeat, going down to a 1-0 loss at Fulham on Saturday. Bulgarian forward Dimitar Berbatov settled matters with a sublime volley into the top corner on the stroke of half-time. Robert Huth escaped punishment after appearing to elbow Philippe Senderos, but has since been handed a three-match ban for violent conduct by the FA.

Last meeting

• West Ham missed out on the opportunity to move up to fifth in the Barclays Premier League after being held to a draw by Stoke City at the Boleyn Ground on Monday 19 November 2012. The Potters took a first-half lead when Republic of Ireland striker Jonathan Walters converted from a well-worked corner routine on 12 minutes. As the interval approached, Steven N'Zonzi rattled the crossbar with a long-range shot. West Ham improved after half-time, though, and deservedly equalised three minutes after the break courtesy of Joey O'Brien's first ever Premier League goal. The Hammers dominated the remainder of the game, with Modibo Maiga, Gary O'Neil, Guy Demel and Winston Reid all coming close to netting a winner.

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien (Demel 77), Reid, Tomkins, McCartney, Noble, Diame, Maiga (Taylor 86), Nolan, O'Neil, Carroll (C.Cole 86)
Subs not used: Spiegel, Spence, Hall, Collins
Goal: O'Brien 48

Stoke City: Begovic, Huth, Wilkinson (Shotton 32), Shawcross, Cameron, Whelan (Palacios 62), Walters, Adam, Etherington (Kightly 74), Nzonzi, Crouch
Subs not used: Sorensen, Jerome, Jones, Upson

Background

• Saturday's game will be the 84th competitive meeting between West Ham United and Stoke City. West Ham have won 33, Stoke 30 and there have been 20 draws.

• Stoke are considered to be the second-oldest professional football club in the world behind Notts County. Formed in 1863, the Potters were also one of the 12 founding members of the Football League in 1888.

• West Ham first faced Stoke in a Southern League First Division match at the Boleyn Ground on 16 December 1911. The Potters won the game 4-3 with William Kennedy (two) and Tom Randall on target for the Hammers.

• West Ham's biggest home and away wins over Stoke City both occurred during the 1957/58 season. Vic Keeble bagged a hat-trick in a 5-0 Division Two victory at the Boleyn Ground on 6 November 1957. Keeble also scored twice in the reverse fixture - a 4-1 win at the Victoria Ground the following March. The Hammers would go onto be promoted to Division One at the season's end.

Head to head

Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)

19 November 2012 - West Ham United 1-1 Stoke City
13 March 2011 - Stoke City 2-1 West Ham United (FA Cup sixth round)
5 March 2011 - West Ham United 3-0 Stoke City
27 October 2010 - West Ham United 3-1 Stoke City (Carling Cup fourth round)
18 September 2010 - Stoke City 1-1 West Ham United
27 March 2010 - West Ham United 0-1 Stoke City

Overall record v Stoke City (all competitions) W 33 D 20 L 30


Ten-year records

West Ham United

2011/12 Championship 3rd (86 points - promoted to Premier League via Play-Offs)
2010/11 Premier League 20th (33 points - relegated to Championship)
2009/10 Premier League 17th (35 points)
2008/09 Premier League 9th (51 points)
2007/08 Premier League 10th (49 points)
2006/07 Premier League 15th (41 points)
2005/06 Premier League 9th (55 points)
2004/05 Championship 6th (73 points - promoted to Premier League via Play-Offs)
2003/04 Championship 4th (74 points)
2002/03 Premier League 18th (42 points - relegated to Championship)

Stoke City

2011/12 Premier League 14th (45 points)
2010/11 Premier League 13th (46 points)
2009/10 Premier League 11th (47 points)
2008/09 Premier League 12th (45 points)
2007/08 Championship 2nd (79 points - promoted to the Premier League)
2006/07 Championship 8th (73 points)
2005/06 Championship 13th (58 points)
2004/05 Championship 12th (61 points)
2003/04 Division One 11th (66 points)
2002/03 Division One 21st (50 points)


Referee

• Saturday's referee will be Jon Moss.

• Moss will take charge of his second West Ham United fixture of 2012/13, having previously been the referee for the 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Wigan Athletic on 27 October last year.

• Headteacher Moss was promoted to the Select Group of Referees in June 2011.

• He initially progressed through the Northern Counties East League and Northern Premier League before being promoted to the National Group of Assistant Referees in 2003.

• He took charge of the 2005 Conference Play-Off final between Carlisle United and Stevenage and was then promoted to the National Group of Referees.

• In 22 fixtures this season, Moss has shown 61 yellow cards and sent-off one player.

• On Saturday, Moss will be assisted by Richard West and Peter Bankes, while the Fourth official will be Stuart Attwell.

Old boys

• Stoke City winger Matthew Etherington made 195 appearances for West Ham between August 2003 and January 2009, scoring 18 goals. He joined the Potters on 8 January 2009, having moved to the Boleyn Ground from Tottenham Hotspur five-and-a-half years previously.

• Among the other players who have represented both clubs are Clive Clarke, Bob Dixon, Sir Geoff Hurst, Lawrie Leslie, Nicky Morgan, Henri Camara and Frank Richardson.

General information

Tickets for the match will be available on the day of the game from away turnstile 50 (cash only) at the Britannia Stadium. Click here for full information.

Saturday's weather forecast is for a cloudy day in the Potteries, with the temperature at 3pm expected to be around 6C (43F).