In Premier League action, Stoke City are scheduled to host West Ham on Saturday, September 18, in a lunch time kick off, at the Britannia Stadium.
West Ham could not have expected to have had a more horrific start to their Premiership campaign, this season, with four losses suffered in as many matches. Having said that, the Hammers’ rivals have included some quality teams, such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Aston Villa.
If the Hammers are to harbour any hope of breaking that streak of losses against Stoke City, the East London side would do well to remember that the Potters have enjoyed an excellent home record.
West Ham will also not have manager Avram Grant overseeing this match, with the Israeli national on leave to celebrate the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur.
Barring Sidibe who is unlikely to feature in the starting eleven for Stoke City, the Potters are free of injury worries, ahead of the West Ham encounter. Deadline day signing Gudjohnsen is likely to be in the starting eleven for the Potters.
Kenwyne Jones could be the key player that Tony Pulis will rely on to get full points against the Hammers.
West Ham are likely to continue with Rob Green between the sticks. Hines, Hitlzsperger, Collison and Gabbidon are likely to miss out. But Obinna and Dyer should make the cut, given the form they displayed in the Chelsea game.
Tal Ben Haim, who like Grant will be busy with Yom Kippur, will also need to be replaced. As ever, Scott Parer will be the key for West Ham if they want to get some points on board, at long last.
West Ham have scored just the solitary goal in the four matches played by them, and that, more than the fact that they have conceded three goals in every game, is the real problem.
Contrast that with Stoke City who will be encouraged by the two late goals against Aston Villa on Monday that got them on the points table, at long last.
Stoke’s Starting Eleven is likely to be: Sorensen, Huth, Shawcross, Faye, Collins, Pennant, Delap, Whitehead, Etherington, Walters, Jones.
Substitutes: Begovic, Higginbotham, Whelan, Gudjohnsen, Fuller, Wilson, Wilkinson.
West Ham’s Starting Eleven is likely to include: Green, Gabbidon, Gabbidon, Jacobsen, da Costa, Behrami, Parker, Noble, Piquionne, Obinna, Cole.
Substitutes: Barrera, McCarthy, Stech, Tomkins, Boa Morte, Kovac, FaubertLee Mason of Lancashire will referee the match.