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 have taken all the spoils in their 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 have failed to win at Upton Park for over a decade, with their last triumph in this fixture coming in a 2-0 victory on January 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 have dropped 23 points from winning positions this campaign, but only need one more to record their best Premier League points total for 10 years.