The Hammers travel to the Stadium of Light.
The Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has made 120 saves this season, the most in the Premier League. West Ham have committed 253 fouls this term, the highest number of any team in England’s top division. Statistics can be misleading but those two tell the story of two respective campaigns; while Sunderland’s has been spent largely with backs to the wall, Sam Allardyce’s players have, typically, fought for every ball. While neutrals will look forward to Joe Cole’s appearance in a West Ham shirt once more, home fans are bound to boo Allardyce and Kevin Nolan, a former Newcastle manager and captain respectively.
Venue Stadium of Light, Saturday 3pm
Last season n/a
Referee Neil Swarbrick
This season’s matches 7 Y23, R0, 3.29 cards per game
Odds Sunderland 5-4 West Ham 11-5 Draw 9-4
Subs from Westwood, Campbell, Saha, Wickham, McFadden, Kilgallon, N’Diaye, Reed, Vaughan, Noble, Adams, Egan
Doubtful O’Shea (hamstring), Sessègnon (ankle)
Injured Cuéllar (hamstring, 19 Jan), Rose (hamstring, 29 Jan), Cattermole (knee, Feb), Brown (knee, unknown)
Form guide LLWWLW
Disciplinary record Y32 R0
Leading scorer Fletcher 8
Subs from Spiegel, Tomkins, Collison, Vaz Tê, Taylor, Spence, Fanimo, O’Neil, Chamakh, Wellington, Potts, Moncur
Doubtful Collison (knee), O’Brien (knee)
Injured Carroll (knee, 19 Jan), Diamé (hamstring, 19 Jan), McCartney (knee, Feb)
Unavailable Maïga (international duty)
Form guide WLLDLW
Disciplinary record Y41 R1
Leading scorer Nolan 5
The Hammers have won five of their last 11 games at the Stadium of Light in all competitions.
West Ham have won 32 of the previous 83 league and cup encounters, with Sunderland claiming victory on 30 occasions.
Defeat would mean the Black Cats lose three successive league games for the first time under Martin O’Neill. The last time they lost three in a row was in April 2011, when they suffered four successive defeats.
Sunderland drew six of their first eight Premier League matches this season, but have shared the points only once in 13 subsequent games.
Martin O’Neill’s men have gained one point from losing positions this season, fewer than any other top-flight side.
Only 10% of the league goals Sunderland have scored this term have been headers, while only 3% of their goals against are headers. Both figures are the lowest in the Premier League this season.
The Hammers are winless in their last four away games (D1, L3), failing to score in the last three matches.
Their last away victory was the 1-0 win at Newcastle on 11 November.
They have conceded three league goals from set-pieces this season, fewer than any other team.
SOURCE: BBC Sport
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