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Stoke are in big trouble and Paul Lambert faces a monumental task to pull them out of the mire they have got themselves into. With his honeymoon period over before it even started, he now has five games left to keep Stoke’s Premier League status intact, starting with West Ham.
They are coming up against a West Ham team who have seen a little resurgence of late. The Hammers showed a lot of character to come back against Chelsea and probably were a little hard-done by not to go on and win against the Blues. This will prove to be a very interesting game between the two clubs.
Butland has not had a good season for Stoke. It may be because of the players in front of him as well but he needs to command his defence more if he’s to be England first choice.
Erik Pieters (LB)
The left-back continues to retain his place in Lambert’s side probably because of a lack of left-backs. Has not had a great season for Stoke and always looks better going forward.
Zouma will be very happy to return to Chelsea in the summer and put the Stoke nightmare behind him. He is one of the only few players to come out of this season with his head held high and has looked like a quality central defender at points. Bags of potential.
Another of the Stoke players who has not disgraced himself this season. He has also looked solid in the back four and made two last-man tackles last game to keep the scoreline respectable.
The 33-year-old is spending his final days as a footballer and needs to demand more of himself in his twilight years.
Moritz Bauer (RM)
The 26-year-old has had some decent games for Stoke this season. Will be looking to improve.
He is another Stoke player who comes out of the season with some respect intact. Always looks solid in the middle and has also weighed in with a few important goals for the Potters.
Ndiaye is a good defensive midfielder and played well against Tottenham even though his team lost. Has one goal and three assists to his name and looks like a good player.
Ramadan Sobhi (ML)
The 20-year-old has impressed since breaking into the Stoke first-team. Always looks tricky when he gets hold of the ball and has scored two goals for the Potters.
An enigma of a player. Some games, he seems to win on his own and some games, you’d question if he’s even on the pitch. His talent has never been in question but his application often is. Still has 7 goals and 6 assists for the Potters.
The 30-year-old has 6 goals and 1 assist for Stoke this season, which is not enough for a striker in the Premier League. He isn’t getting good enough service but should still have more.