Keep Carroll quiet and the Potters can make a point
I made my debut at West Ham back in 1968/69 – a game that finished goalless – and that same scoreline will do for me on Monday night.
West Ham are going great guns this season after winning promotion and that's why a point would be a fine return for Stoke.
Sam Allardyce has certainly tightened things up because despite winning promotion, West Ham conceded more than 40 goals in the Championship last season.
That kind of defending can lead to relegation in the Premier League, but West Ham have sorted that one out whereas Reading and Southampton clearly haven't.
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That debut of mine was an eye opener against a winger by the name of Harry Redknapp, a real roadrunner in those days.
Stoke face something similar with Matt Jarvis up against them on one wing on Monday, while the trickier and silkier Yossi Benayoun will offer a different challenge on the other flank.
It's imperative Stoke block off the ball for these two because if they can get to the byline and deliver, that can be meat and drink for a striker like Andy Carroll.
So it's vital that any service Carroll gets in attack is long stuff pumped through the middle so the Stoke centre-halves can deal with him.
Ryan Shawcross must get his mind off events in Sweden earlier this week and I'm sure Robert Huth will be in his ear all evening at Upton Park.
I want to see Stoke defending a line outside of their own box, too, because once he's in that penalty area Carroll becomes a genuine threat in the air.
Keep him static and with the ball coming to his feet outside the area, however, and he's controllable.
He has a great understanding with Kevin Nolan from their Newcastle days and these two, if you let them, can poke enormous holes in your defences.
Nolan is their big player. He is given that bit of freedom and he plays with a bit of a cheekiness.
His record shows he has goals in him and that's because he likes to upset defenders.
I wouldn't change Stoke's starting 11, but I would revert back to Charlie Adam in midfield and Jon Walters out wide.
They swapped roles early on last weekend, but that was at home to QPR.
Away at West Ham is a different proposition, one that demands a three-man midfield in my opinion to try and keep things compact and solid.
That's not me being negative, that's just being realistic.
I'd certainly keep Matthew Etherington in the team after last week's showing and because he's playing against his old club.
That challenge in his own area when he got injured last week, for me that showed the determination of a player who knows he has to really fight for his starting place these days.
And it's that kind of tenacity you need, especially at places like West Ham.
I think a few people raised their eyebrows when Big Sam signed his old Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen in the summer at the age of 37.
But then you look at their five clean sheets and think he might have made a wise choice.
I'm hoping he has a busy night on Monday, but I think a tight game decided by a set piece is more likely when you look at the form of these two.
And that would certainly do me for the long journey back home in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Follow Mike Pejic in action on Monday evening during Signal 1's live coverage of West Ham v Stoke City.