West Ham are hoping to improve on their 1-0 defeat to Everton with victory over Stoke on the 15th March. The home side dominated possession, as many would expect, but took until the 81st minute to edge past West Hams stubborn defence. The Toffees managed a total of 22 shots with a minor 3 making it on target. This tells us West Ham like to sit off the ball and let the opponents play not allowing them to create any chances and therefore shoot from distance. Although this can be very risky when applied correctly West Ham could be able to score on the counter attack. However this was not the case last Saturday and the hammers only managed a mere 1 shot on target.
When the Hammers hosted the Potters in August the visitors ran out with a 1-0 win. Despite the close score line the Hammers didn’t manage a single shot on target whereas Stoke managed a total of 5. Although the Potters had to absorb some early pressure at Upton Park, they then created the majority of chances in a largely disappointing encounter.
I would be very surprised if Andy Carroll doesn’t start up top with Stoke having two of the most talented centre backs in the air in Shawcross and Huth. Stoke go into the game after beating Arsenal 1-0 in their last game at the Britannia, they managed to hold Arsenals attack to just 2 shots on target all game.
Let’s not forget that last season Stoke was one of mere 3 away wins. The Hammers managed 54% possession and a total of 7 shots on target against Stokes 2. The team didn’t include the big names such as Noble, Nolan, and of course new boy Downing. Hopefully history will repeat itself and West Ham will come back with all 3 points in the bag.