Stoke City match preview

Barclays Premier League
West Ham United v Stoke City
Boleyn Ground
Saturday 27 March 2010
Referee: Andre Marriner

• West Ham United welcome Stoke City for a huge encounter that sees them looking to arrest a run of five straight defeats and move clear of the Barclays Premier League drop zone.

• Depending on results elsewhere, a home win could move 17th-placed West Ham six points above of trouble with a far superior goal difference to the clubs in the bottom three. Stoke are 12th and on 36 points, with the club believing one more win would guarantee survival this season.

• Stoke manager Tony Pulis, whose side have not won in five matches, was at the Boleyn to watch the 3-1 defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers last Tuesday.

• The Hammers can also take comfort from five wins in their last six meetings with the Potters, although they lost the reverse fixture earlier this season. In Stoke's favour is an unbeaten run of four away matches in the Premier League.

• The visitors have been beaten in only one of their seven games away at sides in the top-flight's current bottom ten - although five have been drawn.

• Stoke have kept only one clean sheet in their last seven games.

• This is the 66th league meeting between the two sides. West Ham have won 26, Stoke have won 24 and there have been 15 draws.

Last meeting

• The last meeting between the two sides was on 17 October 2009. James Beattie's only two goals this season to date were enough to cancel out Matthew Upson's 34th-minute header. Upson was to receive a hefty blow to the head late in the contest courtesy of a challenge with Robert Huth.

The teams that day were:

Stoke City: Sorensen, Huth, Abdoulaye Faye, Collins, Shawcross, Delap (Lawrence 68), Etherington, Whitehead, Diao (Whelan 78), Fuller, Beattie (Kitson 84)
Subs not used: Simonsen, Tuncay, Wilkinson, Higginbotham
Goals: Beattie 11 pen, 69

West Ham United: Green, Upson, Ilunga, Tomkins, Kovac (Stanislas 83), Noble, Behrami, Faubert, Collison (Franco 88), Cole, Diamanti (Hines 79)
Subs not used: Kurucz, Spector, Da Costa, Jimenez
Goal: Upson 34

Last time out

Tuesday 23 March 2010
West Ham United 1-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers
West Ham United: Green, Upson, Tomkins (Spector 45), Daprela, Parker, Kovac (Stanislas 45), Behrami, Faubert, Cole, Diamanti, McCarthy (Franco 71)
Subs not used: Stech, Noble, Ilan, Mido
Goal: Franco 90

Saturday 20 March 2010
Stoke City 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Stoke City: Sorensen, Huth, Abdoulaye Faye, Collins, Higginbotham, Whelan (Sidibe 84), Delap, Etherington, Whitehead (sent off 49), Kitson (Tuncay 84), Fuller
Subs not used: Begovic, Lawrence, Pugh, Wilkinson, Moult
Goal: Etherington 64 pen


• Saturday's referee is Andre Marriner, who was the man in the middle for the Barclays Asia Trophy defeat by Tottenham Hotspur in Beijing on 29 July.

• He also took charge of the 3-2 defeat by Liverpool on 19 September, the 2-2 draw with Sunderland on 31 October, when Radoslav Kovac and Kenwyne Jones were both sent off, and the 3-1 defeat by Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday 15 December. The last time he refereed the Hammers was the 1-1 draw at Portsmouth on 26 January, meaning in five matches this season including that summer date with Spurs, the Hammers have yet to win.

• He has twice officiated Stoke matches this season, 1-1 draws at Everton and Wigan Athletic on 4 October 2009 and 9 February 2010 respectively.

• Marriner began refereeing in 1992, progressing through the Birmingham Amateur Football League and Southern League to take his place as a Football League assistant referee in 2000.

• Marriner became a Football League referee in 2003, before taking charge of his first Premier League fixture, Charlton Athletic versus Norwich City, the following year.

• The official joined the Select Group of officials in 2005 and is now on the list of FIFA international referees.

Old boys

• West Ham first-team coach Kevin Keen made 201 league and cup appearances for Stoke between October 1994 and September 2000, scoring 12 goals. Keen, a former West Ham apprentice, made 279 league and cup appearances for the Hammers between March 1984 and July 1993, scoring 30 goals.

• Stoke 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.

• West Ham are next in action eight days after Saturday's game when they go to Everton on Easter Sunday for a 4pm kick-off. Stoke's next fixture sees them take on Hull City at home on Saturday.

Head to head

Last six meetings

17 October 2009 - Stoke City 2-1 West Ham United
2 May 2009 - Stoke City 0-1 West Ham United
28 December 2008 - West Ham United 2-1 Stoke City
19 April 2005 - Stoke City 0-1 West Ham United
19 October 2004 - West Ham United 2-0 Stoke City
24 April 2004 - Stoke City 0-2 West Ham United

Overall record v Stoke City (all competitions) W 31 D 18 L 28

West Ham United

• Although he missed a penalty against Arsenal a week ago, Alessandro Diamanti's eight goals in all competitions has left him just one behind top scorer Carlton Cole.

• West Ham have scored 38 goals this season in the league with 15 different players on target. Carlton Cole leads the way (nine), with Alessandro Diamanti (seven), Guille Franco (four) and Matthew Upson (three) next in line. Jack Collison, Mark Noble, Junior Stanislas (two each), Ilan, Manuel da Costa, the departed Luis Jimenez, Zavon Hines, Radoslav Kovac, Valon Behrami, Julien Faubert and Scott Parker have also registered. An own-goal from Everton's Tony Hibbert completes the tally.

• Parker has been cautioned nine times this season and Faubert, Franco, Kovac and Noble five each. Cole and Collison are on four yellow cards, but will not be suspended if they receive a fifth as the FA disciplinary deadline has passed. Should any player reach ten cautions before the second Sunday in April, they will receive a two-mach suspension.

• Only Robert Green has played in every league game for the club this season. He is on a run of 118 successive league starts.

• Kieron Dyer scored twice for the Hammers reserves, and was the clear man of the match, in a 5-2 win against a visiting Stoke side on 24 November.

Stoke City

• Stoke have beaten their record for season ticket renewals ahead of the 2010/11 campaign with 16,000 sold

Team news

• Gianfranco Zola could recall Jordan Spence, Danny Gabbidon, Manuel da Costa and Kieron Dyer into his matchday plans but will be without Herita Ilunga (tendon injury), James Tomkins (ankle) and Jack Collison (knee).

• Da Costa has missed the last three matches through suspension but will compete with Gabbidon to replace Tomkins, who was injured in the first half against Wolves.

• Luis Boa Morte is working hard on his fitness after missing the whole season to date with a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered last July.

• Zavon Hines will not play again this season with a knee injury.

• Stoke have to do without Dean Whitehead after he was sent off against Tottenham last time out.

• Ryan Shawcross sat out against Tottenham with an ankle problem despite being eligible again following a three-match ban for his red card against Arsenal, when his challenge broke Aaron Ramsey's leg.

• The Potters were already without James Beattie - who scored twice against the Hammers earlier this season - with a knee injury.


Today's match sponsors are BPC Interiors Ltd, while the matchball sponsors are Creek Metals Ltd.

General information

• For ticket information click here. For details on getting to the Boleyn Ground, click here.

• The weather forecast for this Saturday is rain with temperatures peaking around the 13C mark.