5:00 AM (AEST) Tuesday, April 17 at London Stadium, London
The last match of Round 34 in the Premier League will take place at London Stadium between two lowly ranked sides, 15th placed Hammers and 19th placed Stoke.
West Ham United: Hart; Ogbonna, Collins, Reid; Zabaleta, Kouyate, Noble, Cresswell; Antonio, Ayew; Hernandez.
Stoke: Butland; Wimmer, Zouma, Martins, Indi; Cameron, Allen, Fletcher, Pieters; Shaqiri, Jese; Berahino.
There have been 79 games played between these two sides, with honours evenly shared. Hammers have had 29 wins to Stoke’s 28 while 22 matches have been drawn. Their first round clash saw the Hammers win 3-0.
The Hammers opened the season poorly, dropping games to Manchester United 4-0 in Round 1, Southampton 3-2 in Round 2 and newly promoted Newcastle 3-0 in Round 3. In Round 4 the Hammers beat newly promoted Huddersfield 2-0 before playing out a scoreless draw with West Brom in Round 5. After losing to Spurs 3-2, West Ham beat Swansea 1-0 and had a 1 all draw with Burnley, before copping a 3-0 hiding from Brighton. They were then held to a 2 all draw with last placed Crystal Palace before getting belted 4-1 against Liverpool and then 2-0 against Watford. West Ham had a 1 all draw with Leicester and then lost to Everton 4-0 and Manchester City 2-1. The Hammers pulled off a brilliant 1-0 victory over defending champions Chelsea and then held Arsenal to a scoreless draw before beating Stoke 3-0. But their hot form went ice cold, which saw them lose to the out of form Newcastle 3-2, drew with Bournemouth 3 all before beating West Brom 2-1. A draw with Spurs was followed by a strong 4-1 win over Huddersfield before back to back draws against Bournemouth and Palace. They then followed up their 3-1 loss to Brighton with a 2-0 win over Watford. They then lost back-to-back matches 4-1 to Liverpool and Swansea and then went down 3-0 to Burnley. They hit back with a 3-0 win over Southampton before holding Chelsea to a 1 all draw last week.
Stoke finished their last season in 13th place, just a win shy of 8th place, giving them plenty to be optimistic about for this season. They lost their opening game to Everton 1-0 before picking up a stunning 1-0 win over top side Arsenal. In Round 3 they played out a 1 all draw with West Brom, before scoring another draw the following week with Man United. Stoke then suffered some heavy losses, including 2-1 to promoted side Newcastle, 4-0 to Chelsea and 7-2 against Manchester City. They managed a win amongst that horror run, against Southampton 2-1. In Round 9 they lost 2-1 to Bournemouth 2-1, but they returned to the winners circle with a 1-0 win over Watford. Successive 2 all draws with Leicester and Brighton were followed by losses to Palace 2-1 and Liverpool 3-0 before they beat Swansea 2-1. The Potters were then belted 5-1 by Spurs then went down 1-0 to Burnley and 3-0 to the Hammers. After beating West Brom 3-1, they had a draw with Huddersfield and then a heavy loss to Chelsea 5-0 then losing to the out of form Newcastle 1-0 before Man U beat them 3-0. Stoke then beat the Terriers 2-0, following up with a scoreless draw against Watford, a 2-1 loss to Bournemouth and a 1 all draw with Brighton. They’ve scored two draws against Leicester and Southampton before dropping all of their last 4 games, all against top sides: Manchester City, Everton, Arsenal and Spurs.
Defence – These sides are at the wrong end of the table because of their unreliable defence.
Hammers at home have the edge but this really could go either way.
West Ham United $2.00