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Premier League

  • 12 January 2013
  • • 15:00
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: N. Swarbrick
  • • Attendance: 39918
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Sunderland - West Ham Preview: Inconsistent Black Cats take on Hammers at Stadium of Light

The hosts go in search of their first Premier League win of 2013 against a Sam Allardyce side travelling to the Stadium of Light looking for their first away win since November

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

SUNDERLAND

Mignolet
Bardsley, Cuellar, Bramble, Rose
Larsson, Gardner, Vaughan
Johnson, Fletcher, McClean
WEST HAM

Jaaskelainen
Demel, Collins, Tomkins, Reid
J.Cole, Noble, Diarra, Jarvis
Nolan
C.Cole

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is likely to remain without John O'Shea (hamstring) for Saturday's visit of 11th placed West Ham.

Wes Brown (knee) and Lee Cattermole (knee) have also been ruled out for the home side, although Stephane Sessegnon should recover from a recent ankle injury.

For the visitors, Sam Allardyce is unable to call on Andy Carroll (knee) and Mohamed Diame (hamstring), who are both expected to return later this month.

George McCartney (knee) remains a long-term absentee, while Joey O'Brien will be available after a recent hamstring strain.

Joe Cole should retain his place in midfield after assisting two goals in last Saturday's FA Cup tie against Manchester United.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Sunderland have lost the same number of matches overall than they had at the same stage last season, though they have collected two fewer points in total.
  • Steven Fletcher (pictured right) has already amassed the same number of goals - eight - as the club's top scorer last season, Nicklas Bendtner.
  • Last term, attackers Stephane Sessegnon and James McClean netted 12 league goal between them. This term, over halfway through the season, they have only managed four.
  • The last time West Ham were promoted to the top flight, they finished with 55 points in their returning campaign. They are currently on target for 50.
  • West Ham currently have the same number of home victories (five) than they had after the same number of games in the Championship last season, despite having amassed 14 fewer points overall.
  • Put together, Sam Allardyce and Martin O'Neill have been in football management for 11 more years than the Premier League's youngest manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has been alive.

Players to watch

C. Gardner

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Despite having not yet established himself as anything more than a fringe player at his parent club, the Tottenham loanee has arguably been Sunderland's most consistently impressive performer since making the temporary move to Wearside in the summer.

Comfortable on the ball, not short of adventure, and possessing explosive pace, Rose could well prove to be one of his side's biggest attacking threats on Saturday - especially if Sam Allardyce opts to match the less-than-tireless Joe Cole up against him on the visitors' right flank.

C. Cole

Position: Attacker

Games: 4

  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
Though his place seemed under grave threat when Andy Carroll arrived at Upton Park on September's transfer deadline day, a combination of the form and fitness of both players has meant that Carlton Cole is currently enjoying what could well be be finest spell of his career.

A classic 'confidence player', the target man seems to be brimming with it at the moment, displaying more-then-capable hold-up play, a refined level of awareness, and a rejuvenated eye for goal. Few would bet against him continuing his excellent recent form against a currently tepid Sunderland outfit.

Editor's Prediction

Although the Wearsiders have undergone something of an upturn in form in recent weeks, it is still difficult to draw much inspiration from a quick scan of their likely teamsheet. With Sessegnon unfit or out of form, too much onus rests on Adam Johnson to provide creative spark, whereas the typically organised Allardyce can look to three or four squad members to offer penetration.

In all likelihood, Satuday's meeting will not provide an excess of goals, but the visitors will certainly fancy their chances of returning to the capital with all three points.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Sunderland

West Ham United

Wins
2
2
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Sunderland AFC SUN
Sunderland AFC Sunderland
Draw
West Ham United FC WHU
West Ham United FC West Ham United
41%
17%
42%

Top 3 Predictions

Sunderland AFC SUN
2 - 1
West Ham United FC WHU
Sunderland AFC SUN
1 - 2
West Ham United FC WHU
Sunderland AFC SUN
1 - 1
West Ham United FC WHU

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