West Ham United vs Stoke City
TV: Sky Sports Main Event
Venue: London Stadium
Referee: Michael Oliver
Paul Lambert takes his Stoke City side to the London Stadium on Monday evening, as he goes in search of what could be a massive three points towards their survival hopes against West Ham.
Stoke are in major danger of being relegated, especially after they have lost their last four games, leaving them dwelling in 19th position in the league, six points from safety. A win against West Ham would see them rise to 18th position, realistically five to six points away from safety.Embed from Getty Images
For David Moyes however, he comes in to this game feeling positive after a couple of good results against Southampton and Chelsea which has seen West Ham climb up the table away from the relegation zone – now sitting six points from the drop. A win for the Hammers could be enough to cement their Premier League status for another year.
Moyes will be pleased coming in to the match against Stoke, as the Hammers have been boosted by the return of star player Manuel Lanzini who has finally overcome a knee injury. West Ham will also be able to recall defenders James Collins, who is back available for selection, and Aaron Cresswell who should be available after overcoming a knock he picked up against Chelsea.Embed from Getty Images
Another major boost is the surprising return of Andy Carroll, who has been training this week despite fears he might have been out for the season.
Paul Lambert will be without Jese Rodriguez after he has repeatedly missed training and looks set not to feature for the rest of the season. Similar behaviour has seen Saido Berahino and Ibrahim Afellay removed from selection by Paul Lambert.
Predicted Starting XI’s
West Ham United (5-3-2): Hart, Masuaku, Ogbonna, Rice, Cresswell, Zabaleta, Kouyate, Noble, Mario, Hernandez, Arnautovic.
Stoke City (4-4-1-1): Butland, Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters, Bauer, Allen, Ndiaye, Sobhi, Shaqiri, Diouf.
Prediction: West Ham 2 Stoke City 1
West Ham have turned a corner in recent weeks and have massively impressed, especially their star man Mark Arnautovic who, no doubt, will want to play the pantomime villain against his former club, just like he did at the Bet365 stadium when West Ham ran out 3-0 winners. I don’t think this game will be as clear cut with Stoke needing a result, but I can see West Ham just edging them to all but confirm their Premier League survival.
Written by Henry Tomlinson.