Preview - Stoke City

Everything you need to know about Saturday's game with Stoke City

In brief

Ninth-placed West Ham United host Stoke City, currently tenth, as both clubs look to finish impressive seasons as high up the Premier League table as possible.

Sam Allardyce’s men will be aiming to bounce back from defeat away at Leicester City last weekend, having won their last home game 1-0 against Sunderland.

Meanwhile, Stoke are looking to end a run of three games without a win, having narrowly lost to league leaders Chelsea last weekend. The visitors are level on points with the Hammers on 42 points, however the claret and blues have a better goal difference by six goals.  

Who are they?

Formed in 1863 as Stoke Ramblers they became Stoke Football Club following a merger with Stoke Victoria Atheltic Club. Having turned professional in 1885 they became Stoke City Football Club in 1925 after Stoke-on-Trent was granted City status.

The Potters moved from the Victoria Ground after 119 years to their current home at the Britannia Stadium in 1997.  

Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League. Among their club honours is winning the League Cup in 1971/72 as well as being crowned Division Two champions in 1932/33 and 1962/63.

More recently Stoke have enjoyed one of their more successful eras having established themselves as a Premier League club since promotion in 2008.

They narrowly missed out on being crowned FA Cup winners after losing to Manchester City 1-0 in the 2011 final.

Team news

West Ham United
The Hammers are boosted by the return of Enner Valencia who has trained with the squad over the last few days having recovered from a toe injury.

The Ecuadorean international has been out of action since the narrow 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Wednesday 4 March.

James Tomkins (shoulder) and Andy Carroll (knee) are both making steady progress in their recoveries from injury.  

Stoke City
The visitors are waiting to see if Marc Wilson (hand) and Jonathan Walters (knee) have recovered in time for Saturday’s kick off.

Long term absentees Bojan Krkic and Peter Odemwingie, both ACL knee injuries, are still unavailable for selection.  


Saturday’s match referee will be Roger East. The 50-year-old referee is a relative newcomer to the Premier League, making his debut in 2012. Since then, he has gone on to officiate 24 matches, issuing 75 yellow and six red cards.

Saturday will be the first time that East has taken charge of a West Ham game this season however he has been at the helm of two Stoke games – their 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion and a 2-1 win away at Aston Villa.

The assistant referees are Mark Scholes and Richard West, Keith Woolmer is the Fourth Official.

One to watch

West Ham United
Having netted the equaliser in the reverse fixture, Stewart Downing is looking to add to his goal tally of five goals for the season.

The 30-year-old is also the club’s leading assist contributor with eight and the Hammers will need his creativity in order to break down a resilient Stoke side.  

Stoke City
French midfielder Steven Nzonzi is a powerful figure in the centre of the park for Stoke.

The dominating 26-year-old is an integral part of Stoke's line up having featured in every league game for the Staffordshire-based club this season.

Nzonzi is a competitive midfielder who can create openings for his teammates while not afraid to put himself about and do the unglamorous hard graft.


The last remaining tickets for Saturday's game available here, book now to avoid any disappointment.   


There are planned part closures on the Jubliee and London Overground lines this weekend with a good service on all other lines.

To plan your journey, see the TFL website here.


Saturday is forecast to be a sunny day, with temperature at kick-off 15C (59F). There is a good chance of rain in the morning but it should clear by lunchtime leaving clear sunshine for the rest of the afternoon.

Last home meeting

West Ham United 0-1 Stoke City
Saturday 31 August 2013
Premier League

A largely uneventful game was decided late on by substitute Jermaine Pennant’s free kick in the 82nd minute as the Hammers slipped to their first defeat of the new season.

Mark Hughes’ side shaded the proceedings, creating the better chances however a draw looked to be the most likely outcome.

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Reid, O’Brien, Collins, Demel, Nolan, Jarvis, Noble (Collison 84), Diame (Lee 88), Downing (Morrison 64), Maiga.
Subs: Adrian, Tomkins, Rat, Taylor

Stoke City: Begovic, Pieters, Huth, Wilson, Shawcross, Cameron, Nzonzi, Adam (Whelan 76), Etherington (Pennant 76), Jones, Walters
Subs: Sorensen, Muniesa, Assaidi, Crouch, Jerome