Competition: Premier League – West Ham United vs Sunderland
Venue: Upton Park – Saturday, March 21 – 17:30 GMT (13:30 ET)
Match Odds: West Ham 4/5 – Draw 5/2 – Sunderland 7/2
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is feeling the heat from the board and needs a result to stop a dire run of form, which sees West Ham without a win in eight in all competitions.
Newly appointed Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat takes the reigns for the first time after replacing Gus Poyet earlier this week and it’s important that Advocaat makes a good start to his tenure as Sunderland look to avoid the drop.Embed from Getty Images
West Ham haven’t won a home game in the Premier League since January 18th in a 3-0 win against Hull. A home win is much needed and there is potentially no better time to play Sunderland after they dramatically lost 4-0 to Aston Villa last weekend.
However, it could also be the worst time to play them, as anything but a win on Saturday will leave people once again asking questions of ‘Big Sam’, and a great start to the season has seemingly been undone by recent results.
West Ham’s home record in the Premier League: P15, W7, D3, L5
Gus Poyet’s departure on Monday sees Dick Advocaat come into the save the Black Cats from relegation despite the fact that Sunderland aren’t in the relegation places at the moment, although they sit just one point above the drop zone.Embed from Getty Images
The sacking of Poyet looked inevitable, even during the 4-0 loss last weekend to Aston Villa. But can Advocaat produce the results?
The main task Advocaat has is trying to motivate his squad to perform on Saturday, and the fact the game is live on Sky Sports will mean there is no room for embarrassment again.
Sunderland’s away record in the Premier League: P14, W2, D7, L5
The reverse fixture ended in 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light back in December, with goals coming from Jordi Gomez and Stewart Downing.Embed from Getty Images
West Ham’s Enner Valencia will be hoping to recover from a foot injury that forced him to miss the Arsenal game. James Tomkins, Carlton Cole and Andy Carroll are all unavailable, while Winston Reid faces a late fitness test. Carl Jenkinson is expected to come back into the side after being ineligible for the Arsenal game.
Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher isn’t expected to start after being forced off against Aston Villa but could feature. Adam Johnson has had his club suspension rescinded so is now available. Will Buckley is doubtful and Lee Cattermole will serve the last game of his suspension so he’s unavailable. Emanuele Giaccherini remains out with an ankle injury.
West Ham’s last five in the Premier League: D/D/L/L/L
Sunderland’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/L/D/L
Key Stat: West Ham haven’t won at home to Sunderland in the Premier League since April 2010.
Key Player: Diafra Sakho – The Senegalese striker is due a goal after going three games without one. Expect him to end that on Saturday.Embed from Getty Images
West Ham 2-0 Sunderland – Although the new Sunderland manager comes in fresh with ideas, success will take time and the Black Cats won’t end their run of seven games without a win in all competitions.