West Ham United v Sunderland

25 Feb

West Ham celebrate Dimitri Payet's equaliser against Sunderland


Dimitri Payet scored West Ham’s equaliser in the 2-2 draw at Sunderland in October

TEAM NEWS

West Ham’s Cheikhou Kouyate is available after winning an appeal against his red card against Blackburn.

Diafra Sakho is unlikely to be risked but Andy Carroll and Winston Reid, who like Sakho have returned to training, could both feature.

Sunderland’s Jan Kirchhoff may be fit despite being forced off in their last game with a hamstring problem.

Sebastian Larsson and Younes Kaboul could both be available, although they are unlikely to start.

Duncan Watmore and Jeremain Lens remain sidelined.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Simon Brotherton: “Sam Allardyce returns to Upton Park for the first time since leaving West Ham last summer with renewed hope of keeping Sunderland in the Premier League.

“He’s hoping the players will be feeling reinvigorated after warm-weather training in Dubai and can build on recent results.

“A 2-2 draw at Liverpool was followed by a 2-1 home win over Manchester United last time out, leaving them just a point from safety.

“West Ham have certainly prospered under Slaven Bilic this year, but Allardyce deserves credit for getting the side promoted from the Championship and then establishing them in the Premier League during his time there.”

Twitter: @SimonBrotherton

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic on the reception Sam Allardyce will receive: “They [Hammers fans] should respect him, he did great for West Ham.

“He is one of the most famous and long-serving English managers, 20 years or so, very successful and charismatic.

“He got us back from the Championship and then stabilised the club in the Premier League so he has done amazing job and he should be praised big time.”

Sunderland head coach Sam Allardyce: “From experience, taking players to Dubai in the warm-weather training scenario, the players will come back much more capable, much more eager to overcome the position and try to get better results.

“It certainly gives everyone enough time physically to recover and recuperate mentally.

“We will certainly see a performance where the players have enough energy to win the game.”

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • West Ham have only lost one of their last seven games against Sunderland, although four have been drawn (W2, D4).
  • The Hammers have won seven and lost just one of the last 10 Premier League home games against the Black Cats.
  • Sunderland’s last win away to West Ham was a 3-0 victory in May 2011.

West Ham United

  • The Hammers are unbeaten in their last 12 home games in all competitions (W7, D5).
  • Victory would give West Ham their highest total of points after 27 Premier League games.
  • West Ham have conceded 61% of their goals before half-time – the highest proportion in this season’s Premier League.
  • Dimitri Payet has scored or set up 12 Premier League goals this season – twice as many as any other West Ham player.

Sunderland

  • Sam Allardyce’s side have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 13 league and cup games, conceding a total of 27 goals.
  • Sunderland have allowed their opponents 158 shots on target against them this season, more than any other team in the top flight.
  • The Black Cats have conceded seven Premier League penalties this term – the joint-highest figure, along with Norwich.
  • Sunderland could score in nine consecutive top-flight away matches for the first time since a run of 10 in a row from April to October 1956.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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