Stoke City make the trip to the nation’s capital on Monday evening to face West Ham United winless in nine and staring a summer preparing for Championship football for the first time in a decade.
Although on paper the results have looked underwhelming, Paul Lambert has undoubtedly provided an impact to the Potters and had the relegation-threatened outfit enjoyed a stroke of luck along the way, the Staffordshire outfit could be in a much more promising position.
However, as it is, Stoke find themselves six points adrift from safety with five games remaining, but all is not lost, and three points at the London Stadium could go a long way in providing a much-needed confidence boost.
So ahead of their clash with West Ham, let’s take a look at the Potters’ best possible XI.
Despite Stoke’s somewhat harrowing -33 goal difference this season, Jack Butland has surprisingly enjoyed an impressive campaign, for the most part, keeping five clean sheets as well as making over three saves per game on average.
The 25-year-old will undoubtedly be heading off to Russia this summer as part of England’s set up and should expect a busy night on Monday.
Having only shipped 13 goals in their last nine outings, in which the Potters have come up against Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham, the solidity of the defensive line Lambert has instilled, for the most part, is promising.
However, a lack of concentration in crucial moments has seemingly been costly.
In midfield, the same four of Moritz Bauer, Joe Allen, Badou Ndiaye and Ramadan Sobhi are likely to retain their places following a solid showing against Tottenham last time out.
If Stoke are to attain any success at the London Stadium on Monday, however, Allen must be more of an influence on proceedings than he has been of late.
Goals have not been too easy to come by for Stoke this term, with Lambert’s men averaging less than a one per game.
However, netting against the likes of Spurs, Everton, Brighton & Hove Albion, Leicester City and Bournemouth with give the Staffordshire-based club hope that they can get themselves on the scoresheet on Monday, and will attempt to do so via Mame Biram Diouf and Xherdan Shaqiri.