West Ham vs. Stoke / Premier League – Two teams positioned in the lower half of the table meet in the last match of the 34th round of English Premier League, where 14th-placed West Ham has played one match fewer but has seven points more than next-to-last Stoke. It means the visiting team is under far bigger pressure, which has four-game losing streak, while last autumn Stoke lost at home in the league to West Ham by even 3-0. Begins: 16.04.2018 – 21:00 CET
Right because of that the Hammers are rightly regarded now as favourites to win, especially as they won even four points in two previous rounds. Team led by manager Moyes had firstly won Southampton 3-0 at home, and then played a fairly good match with still reigning champion and city rival Chelsea and in the end pulled a draw 1-1.
In that way West Ham has probably made the decisive step in the survival race, as at the moment it has even six points than 18th-placed Southampton, while we have already said that West Ham has one point more than its next opponent Stoke. Besides, we need to stress out that latest results made by the Hammers are even more valuable if we know that right now are out of action due to injuries defenders Reid, Collins and Byram, midfielders Obiang and Lanzini, and forwards Antonio and Carroll.
Probable lineups West Ham: Hart – Rice, Ogbonna, Cresswell – Zabaleta, Noble, Kouyate, Masuaku – Joao Mario, Arnautovic – Chicharito
Five remaining matches in the Premier League this season is “to be or not to be” for Stoke, given that after the latest four-game losing streak they moved down at the penultimate place in the table, although they lag behind 18th-placed Southampton for just one point but have played one match more than they, while right now 17th-positioned Crystal Palace has four points more than they. We need to stress that Stoke played last four matches against teams positioned in the upper half of table and last weekend it lost to Tottenham 2-1 at home.
However, manager Lambert can be pleased with far more aggressive approach of his players than in some previous matches, and now we can expect from them to give their maximum against West Ham in order to win so much needed points for the survival race. Regarding problems with absences, still out of action due to injuries are defender Wimmer and Stafylidis, and forward Choupo-Moting, while midfielder Adam has been suspended due to accrued yellow cards.
Probable lineups Stoke: Butland – Johnson, Shawcross, Zouma, Pieters – Bauer, Ndiaye, Allen, Sobhi – Shaqiri – Diouf
West Ham – Stoke PICK
Although West Ham still hasn’t secured its survival each next match is eliminatory for Stoke, which is why we expect to see in the last match of the 34th round of English Premier League a fully open approach by two teams and goals on both sides.
Pick: both teams to score
Odds: 1.91 at williamhill (down to 1.82 can be played)