Despite beating Hull last Wednesday, the feeling amongst the Hammers supporters is that things are not as good as they should be at the club.
Sam Allardyce’s reaction to the boos that preceded the 2-1 victory at the Boleyn Ground all but burnt any bridges that may have existed between him and the West Ham faithful, and the feeling is that he’d have to completely change his approach between now and the end of the season to have any chance of repairing the damage made to his relationship with the supporters.
An away trip to Sunderland is always a tough one, but the Black Cats’ are on a run of picking up just one point from their last five games and have the worst home record in the Premier League this season, as well as scoring the least home goals in the division.
There isn’t a lot of confidence that we can grab a much needed result tonight, but the opportunity to all but secure top-flight survival is well and truly there for the taking. A win would extend that gap between us and the drop zone to 11 points, which should be enough for us to keep our top-flight status.
That said, a point would do nicely as we continue to trudge along under Allardyce’s style of football and get results the ugly way.
But, if we lose tonight while playing pretty, attractive football, there cannot be any complaints. Although I can’t see that happening. Can you?
Verdict: Goalless draw. Lovely.
Sunderland (19th, 25 points)
Fabio Borini returns for the Black Cats after sitting out their game with parent club Liverpool last week.
Steven Fletcher remains sidelined with an ankle injury, while Keiren Westwood is also injured with a shoulder problem.
West Ham United (11th, 34 points)
James Collins picked up a calf injury in the win over Hull last week, which means either Winston Reid or Roger Johnson are expected to cover.
Matt Jarvis is expected to return to the match day squad after a calf injury.
Last TEN meetings:
Match in Numbers:
1 – Sunderland have lost just one Premier League home game against West Ham.
5 – Gus Poyet’s side are unbeaten in their last five league meetings with the Hammers.
4 – West Ham have won only four of their last 29 Premier League away games.
13 – The Hammers are second in the top-flight’s clean sheet table with 13.
0 – Sunderland are yet to win a league game in which they have been level at the break this season.
13 – The Black Cats have scored just 13 home goals this season, which is a Premier League low.
@WestHamWorld 1-0 home win I’m afraid to say
— Rory Draycott (@RoryWHU) March 31, 2014
@WestHamWorld 2-1 Carroll
— Tom (@tommythenutter) March 31, 2014
@WestHamWorld 3-0 west ham with armero hattrick
— Ollie D. (@WheresYoSkillZ) March 31, 2014
— ⚒whu opinions⚒ (@whu_opinions) March 31, 2014
@WestHamWorld SUN 2 – 0 WHU hope I’m wrong though.
— James Robinson (@jim_robbo) March 31, 2014
— Steve Croft (@IronsCrofty) March 31, 2014
Head-to-Head (all competitions):
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