After the relief of last week, the Hammers have the perfect opportunity to get back to back wins and brush off any remaining fears of a relegation scrap. We’ve picked up a few more injuries after the Swansea game but, hopefully, the positive feeling and pressure on Sunderland will get us a good result!
Sunderland are in a dire position and look set to fall through the trap door into the Championship. It wouldn’t be harsh to say it’s been coming either. A series of poor seasons has seen the club tread water in the Premier League. Their fate could be sealed with games to spare, as they’ve managed to fall further behind the rest of the league.
The Hammers FINALLY managed to put an end to their losing streak last week. Another win against Sunderland could begin to turn their fortunes around for the last stretch of the season. Despite this, the Irons only managed one goal against one of the worst defences in the league. They will need to find their scoring form again to begin a streak.
Sunderland, on the other hand, look, quite frankly, hopeless. They have not won in six league fixtures and are yet to score in as many. That’s 675 goal-less minutes for the Blackcats. They seem to be going down without a fight but there’s still several games left for an unlikely escape.
Just about everyone was disappointed to see Michail Antonio limp off with a hamstring injury against Swansea. I’ve had one before and boy they are painful, I speak for everyone at the club in wishing him a speedy recovery. I expect a striker will probably replace him. Hopefully, Carroll will lead the line but, it would be good to see the return of Diafra Sakho.
Jonathan Calleri may even get a start after a good performance last week. Slav favored a quicker attacking line up against Swansea and at times it worked wonders.
Mark Noble will miss the fixture after picking up his tenth yellow card of the season. I would like to see Edimilson Fernandes given a start in the midfield after some bright performances from the bench. We might even get to see Harvard Nordtveit playing in his actual position!
The defence may also see a change, as Sam Byram was spotted leaving the London Stadium on crutches after a good performance last week. It’s a shame that the back four may have to change again after finally managing a clean sheet. However, with Sunderland’s record in front of goal, any back four named by Bilic should be capable enough to handle this Sunderland side.
Sunderland are currently in poor goal scoring form but, that doesn’t take anything away from their attacking talent of Jermain Defoe and Victor Anichebe. Both great players on their day and always pose a threat in front of goal. According to reports Defoe could be a Hammer come the summer. Let’s hope he’s not out to impress anyone tomorrow.
Luckily for the Hammers, Seb Larsson will miss the tie and damage Sunderland’s creativity in midfield. As a result, I imagine Fabio Borini will get the nod to start alongside Anichebe and Defoe in a bid for goals. Whilst Javier Manquillo will likely replace the injured Bryan Oviedo at left back.
CDM) Cattermole (C)
CM) Noble (C)
Sunderland 23/10 Draw 9/4 West Ham 6/5
– Via Bet365
I feel after last week’s win and Sunderland’s form I feel we should be looking forward to a win. However, if Moyes is going to give survival a go he needs to take a gamble soon. Being a pessimistic West Ham fan, I know Jermaine Defoe will score but I don’t think it’ll be enough.
West Ham United 3 – 1 Sunderland