Premier League Preview: West Ham v Stoke City
By Football News
Mark Hughes' attempts to correct Stoke City's lengthy run of poor away form in the Premier League continue at West Ham on Saturday.
Stoke have won just once in their last 14 top-flight outings on the road, and kicked off the new season with a narrow defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.
However, with the majority of that run having come under the stewardship of former manager Tony Pulis, the club's fans will hope that Hughes can begin to cure their away-day ills at Upton Park.
Sam Allardyce's team are sure to provide a difficult test though, as they boast an unbeaten run that spans seven fixtures at their east London home.
West Ham are also yet to taste defeat this term after beating Crystal Palace on the first day, drawing with Newcastle at the weekend and seeing off Cheltenham Town in the League Cup during midweek.
Following the opening-day disappointment on Merseyside, Hughes has overseen his first two competitive victories since taking charge - with Stoke also beating Palace and then thrashing Walsall in the cup.
Those fixtures have provided no new injury concerns, and have also given the Welshman a selection headache up top, after Kenwyne Jones boosted his starting hopes with a hat-trick against Walsall.
Oussama Assaidi featured in the second half of that game having completed a loan move from Liverpool, and the Moroccan winger could now make his full debut at West Ham.
Hughes said of the 25-year-old: "I am delighted to have been able to bring Oussama into the club. He is a very direct player, very good technically and boasts a lot of pace.
"He did well last night, and I believe that he will be a very good player for us this season."
West Ham, meanwhile, still have worries over Andy Carroll (heel) and saw midfielder Alou Diarra brought off during their midweek cup clash.
Last season's edition of this fixture ended 1-1, with Joey O'Brien grabbing his first Premier League goal for the hosts.