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Premier League Preview: West Ham - Stoke City

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Premier League Preview: West Ham - Stoke City
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Premier League Preview: West Ham - Stoke City

Mark Hughes attempts to correct Stoke City's lengthy run of poor away form in the Premier League when the Potters visit West Ham on Saturday.

Stoke has won just once in its last 14 top-flight outings on the road, and kicked off the new season with a narrow defeat to Liverpool at Anfield. 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 is sure to provide a difficult test, though, as it boast an unbeaten run that spans seven fixtures at home. West Ham is also yet to taste defeat this term after beating Cardiff City on the first day, drawing with Newcastle at the weekend and seeing off Cheltenham Town in the Capital One Cup during midweek.

Following the opening-day disappointment on Merseyside, Hughes has overseen his first two competitive victories since taking charge - with Stoke beating Palace and then thrashing Walsall in the League Cup.

Those fixtures have provided no new injury concerns, and have also given the Welshman a selection headache in attack, 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.

"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," Hughes said of the 25-year-old Assaidi. "He did well, and I believe that he will be a very good player for us this season."

West Ham, meanwhile, still has worries over Andy Carroll (heel) and saw midfielder Alou Diarra brought off during their midweek clash, with the player subsequently ruled out for the season.

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