West Ham boosted their survival hopes last week with a crucial victory against relegation rivals Swansea City but face another stern test this weekend.
The Hammers travel to the North East to face David Moyes’ Sunderland, who are rock-bottom of the Premier League, where a victory would all but secure West Ham’s status in the top-flight for another year.
However, after picking up a yellow card in the 1-0 win over Swansea that took his season tally to ten, West Ham skipper Mark Noble will be suspended for this weekend’s tie and will also miss the next game against Everton.
The England midfielder, who represented the Hammers for the 400th time last weekend, still intends to travel to the Stadium of Light though and will sit amongst the away fans to cheer on his team.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Noble stated there was no way he could miss this crucial clash.
“I’ll be going up with them, for sure.”
“I wouldn’t be able to relax otherwise. My Saturday would be the worst Saturday in history if I didn’t go.”
“I need to be there, so I’m pretty sure the manager will be happy with me travelling up with the lads and supporting them, because obviously we’re in this together.”
“We’ll take a lot of fans to what is another important game for us and I believe we can go there after Saturday and get a result.”
With just six matches remaining, West Ham sit eight points above the relegation zone and another victory this weekend should all but secure the club’s Premier League status.
Picking up a win is particularly crucial due to West Ham’s difficult run-in, as the Hammers tackle the likes of Everton, Stoke, Liverpool and Tottenham.