Visitors haven't won in the top flight on the final day of the season since May 1984, whilst Hammers caretaker boss Kevin Keen looks to field youthful starting XI.
West Ham (4-3-3): Green; Bridge, Da Costa, Gabbidon, Jacobsen; Collison, Parker, Hitzlsperger; Sears, Ba, Hines.
Kevin Keen assumes a caretaker manager role that the 44-year-old has already hinted he would like to make permanent, with the West Ham first team coach also pledging to field a young side featuring the club's up and coming prospects.
There will also, however, be signs of the transition the Hammers will have to make as they adapt to the Championship, with Scott Parker and Demba Ba likely to say their farewells at Upton Park on Sunday, a reminder of the pedigree of player that is set to leave the Boleyn Ground in the summer.
Sunderland (4-5-1): Mignolet; Mensah, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Bardsley; Malbranque, Henderson, Colback, Zenden, Elmohamady; Sessegnon.
Steve Bruce could give Anton Ferdinand an earlier than preferred return to the starting XI due to his current defensive injury woes, but may choose not to start striker Asamoah Gyan despite the Ghanaian international returning to training this week following a hamstring strain.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- West Ham has taken all the spoils in its past six encounters with Sunday’s visitors at Upton Park, an effort from Brazilian forward Ilan providing a vital 1-0 victory last season as the Hammer’s successfully fought to beat the drop.
- Sunderland has failed to win at Upton Park for over a decade, with its last triumph in this fixture coming in a 2-0 victory on Jan., 13 2001.
- Despite remaining undefeated in the capital this season, the stats continue not to bode well for Steve Bruce’s men, with the Black Cats having failed to win on the final day of a top-flight season since a 2-0 defeat of Leicester in May 1984.
- A 3-2 defeat at Wigan last Sunday condemned West Ham to Championship football next term; however, if only the first half of games had counted this season, the Hammers would be sitting safely in 15th place with 42 points.
- Sunderland has dropped 23 points from winning positions this campaign, but only needs one more to record its best Premier League points total for 10 years.