West Ham v Potters
By BBC Sport
Updated Friday, 4th March 2011
West Ham v Stoke.
West Ham midfielder Scott Parker looks to have overcome the shoulder injury that required a pain-killing injection prior to their win over Liverpool.The Hammers are still without injured quartet Jack Collison, Kieron Dyer, Robbie Keane and Junior Stanislas, but Victor Obinna could return.
Stoke could start ex-Hammer Matthew Etherington for the first time since an operation to realign his jaw.
Jermaine Pennant and Abdoulaye Faye are both doubts with hamstring strains.
Doubtful: Obinna (foot), Parker (shoulder)
Injured: Collison & Kurucz (both knee), Dyer (thigh), Keane (calf), Stanislas (hernia)
Doubtful: Etherington (jaw/back), Faye & Pennant (both hamstring)
Injured: Sidibe (Achilles)
But for a failed medical during the January transfer window, West Ham striker Demba Ba may have been lining up for this fixture in a Stoke shirt. The Senegalese striker had agreed terms with City, only for the move to break down over a knee problem.
We were strongly advised by our medical team that it was a risk we could not take. You cannot spend large sums of money on a high-risk basis... We were disappointed, we wanted to sign the player and the eventual decision was nothing to do with his ability
Stoke chairman Peter Coates on Demba Ba
Now, six weeks later, Ba has the chance to show the Potters what they missed out on following his eventual move to West Ham. He has scored three goals in his two league starts and also reinvigorated fellow striker Carlton Cole, who has contributed four goals since Ba's arrival.
Ba this week distanced himself from claims by his previous club Hoffenheim that he has a bad attitude, having refused to train with them during the German winter break. He insists he is simply focusing on his Hammers future, and is hoping that his face continues to fit.
Stoke's striker pursuit ended with the arrival of John Carew. The Villa loanee has responded with two goals in eight games in all competitions, one less than Potters defender Robert Huth, who has netted three times in his last seven matches. Huth is the highest-scoring defender in this season's Premier League, with six goals.
League points aside, both teams will also be eyeing each other up ahead of next weekend's FA Cup quarter-final at the Britannia Stadium. This is their third meeting this term, having also met in the League Cup at Upton Park in October when West Ham prevailed 3-1.
• The two sides drew 1-1 at the Britannia Stadium last September. It was the first ever Premier League draw between the clubs.
• The hosts of this encounter have won only three of the last 11 league fixtures played between the clubs.
• Stoke have won just two of their 13 visits to Upton Park since 1973.
• They are currently sixth in the form table (behind the big four and Tottenham) after picking up eight points from the last 15 available.
• The Hammers are looking to win back-to-back league matches at Upton Park for the first time in 11 months, since beating Sunderland and Wigan in April last year.
• They have fielded 33 different players this season - more than any other club in the division.
• If selected, Carlton Cole will be making his 150th club career start, while Wayne Bridge stands by to appear in his 300th Premier League game.
• Stoke are on a club record-equalling run of five successive Premier league away defeats. Tony Pulis' side are also without a goal on their travels for 410 minutes.
• The Potters have lost 10 of 14 away league games this season. Only Wolves (11) have lost more.
• Stoke are winless in six league matches against London opposition this season (D1, L5).
• If selected, Andy Wilkinson will be making his 100th league appearance in Stoke colours.
Cole: 11 goals (5 league); Piquionne: 8 goals (6 league); Obinna: 8 goals (3 league)
Huth: 7 goals (6 league); Jones: 7 goals (5 league); Walters: 7 goals (3 league)
Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistant referees: Ron Ganfield & Scott Ledger
Fourth official: Keith Stroud
LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS
West Ham (W3-1 v Liverpool, h): Green; Jacobsen, Tomkins, Upson, Bridge, O'Neil, Parker, Noble, Hitzlsperger, Ba (Cole 88), Piquionne (Spector 82). Subs not used: Boffin, Reid, Boa Morte, da Costa, Hines.
Stoke (D1-1 v West Brom, h): Begovic; Wilson, Huth, Shawcross, Pugh, Pennant (Whelan 78), Whitehead, Delap, Walters, Jones (Fuller 83), Carew (Etherington 65). Subs not used: Sorensen, Higginbotham, Collins, Wilkinson.
Source: BBC Sport