Green ready for Saturday

Robert Green is expecting as tricky contest as any when West Ham United go to Stoke City on Saturday afternoon looking to challenge for seventh spot again.

The England goalkeeper does not have especially fond memories of his last outing at the Britannia Stadium home of the Premier League newcomers, having lost 3-1 with Norwich City back in August 2005. Green may be unusual in having first-hand experience of Stoke's vocal local support and their direct style but he says his team-mates will be ready for the task in hand.

"We know of the challenges that playing Stoke bring," said the in-form shot-stopper who has only conceded four goals in his last eight league outings. "How they work across the field, how they like to operate and it will be up to us to deal with all the threats these challenges bring. It should be a good match."

Green also rejected suggestions that Stoke - with 39 points - will feel they are safe from relegation and therefore with less of an incentive to do well than the Europe-chasing Hammers. "They will be looking to end the season strongly, whatever the situation is and so we must make sure we meet their efforts with our own. We also want to keep going and keep getting results."

The 29-year-old is looking forward to meeting up with former team-mate - and fellow Hammer of the Year alumni - Matthew Etherington, who has done well for Tony Pulis' side since his January switch. The 2003/04 winner will be one to watch according to the current holder of the annual award. "Matt is a player that brings something different to their team.

"I remember my first season here and seeing pretty much straight away what qualities he had. He will be difficult to play against, and not only for that reason, I am sure he will want to have a good game against us as well."

* Of Saturday's likely starters, James Tomkins has also played at the Britannia Stadium, turning in a man of the match display on loan at Derby County on 2 December 2008 as a late goal gave the Rams a 1-0 away win in the League Cup quarter-final.