27-year-old will struggle: Three things to expect from West Ham in clash v Stoke
COMMENT By Matt Bullin
West Ham travel to the best365 Stadium this Saturday to take on Stoke City in the Premier League.
Here are three things Football Insider expects from the encounter.
It won’t be a classic
Stoke have won once in their last seven attempts in the Premier League, while West Ham have won just once. Another damning statistic for the neutral is this: the Potters have scored only four goals in their last five and West Ham have only scored three goals in their last four. Neither sides are in good form and it is fair to say the fans will not likely be treated to a classic and it is probably going to be a very drab affair.
Noble will be key
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West Ham missed their skipper last time out as they crawled to a 0-0 draw with Everton. Mark Noble is the heartbeat of this team and he contributes effectively in attack and defence. The central midfielder has scored five goals and provided two assists this term and has been a dependable figure in Slaven Bilic’s side. If the Hammers are to get a result at the bet365 Stadium, the 29-year-old will have to play a part.
27-year-old will struggle
Diafra Sakho, 27, has been plagued by injuries this season, and as a result he has played just 181 minutes of football. Those minutes have come in four Premier League appearances, one of which was his return to fitness last time out, as he came on as a late substitute to replace Johnathan Calleri. If Sakho is to start, as he has been touted to, he will be hard pressed for a more difficult game to return in as Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi are two very difficult, physical opponents.
In other West Ham news, here is their expected line up for the clash v Stoke.