Date: 16th December 2017 at 12:45pm
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Ahead of the Premier League clash featuring Stoke City and West Ham, it’s paramount that both teams fight hard for a victory. In their last ten games, the clubs have only tallied up two wins each. The two have taken a battering from the likes of Man City, Tottenham and Liverpool. Both teams are suffering with a porous defence, and heavily attacking teams have been taking advantage.

Only two points separate the rivals so far – Stoke sit in 15th place in the table with 16 points. West Ham are the second worst team in the league as they sit just two points ahead of Swansea at the bottom of the table. They’ve been struggling to escape the bottom three despite their recent surprise win against current champions Chelsea.

A win for either team will be a huge step towards escaping the drop zone. Stoke may just take West Ham’s place in the red area if they lose this weekend’s game. There’s everything to play for and it’s still only early in the league.

Current form

West Ham have conceded a whopping 20 goals in their last ten fixtures, taking them to 32 goals against the team overall. A massive difference in form when compared to their impressive 2015/16 Premier League campaign. The Hammers have only worsened since they placed 7th that year, above Liverpool and Chelsea. Last season they picked up after an abysmal start but are finding it hard to regain form this time round.

The only team to have had more goals scored against them is, ironically, Stoke City. The Potters are a middle-of-the-road team; they can definitely challenge some tough opponents but often succumb to heavy defeats as well. So far they have lost nine out of a possible 15 games and conceded a dreadful 36 goals – more than any other EPL side. Mark Hughes and his men are in for a tough battle when they kick off against West Ham and their new manager.

David Moyes could even be West Ham’s key to avoiding relegation for another season. With a new boss at the wheel bringing in some fresh tactics, the London club could make it a difficult day for Stoke at home. The Hammers have kept a clean sheet in their last two games and despite Michail Antonio being a doubt, Chicharito’s fitness is looking good. The newest West Ham transfer could finally pick up where his goal-scoring league debut trailed off.

Despite being pretty much on par with each other, West Ham may just have the edge after their two-game unbeaten run. A bit of confidence may be what the Hammers need to secure an away win and add to Stoke’s misery of losing four out of five of their last matches.

A win for the team in claret and blue should see them leap out of the bottom three for the first time this season. It’ll be a close game as the sides meet to battle against the deadly relegation zone.

Score prediction: Stoke 1-2 West Ham