Sunderland head to London knowing one more win will guarantee safety officially. With a decent run of form in the league with one defeat in the last six they will look at continuing this run.
West Ham have been terrible at home and only one point above the bottom three will make this game very difficult for them and their fans.
If Sunderland can control the midfield in Scott Parker’s absence they will have the chance to feed the ball into Bent and maybe Jones.
Vital Quotes: Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce on the allegations he fell out with Hammers owner David Gold:
‘What’s happened has gone. I don’t really want to regurgitate all that stuff. All the niceties will be coming out from all of them because we’re playing them.
‘I was disappointed – and they know that – the way they ended it and finished. I thought that I deserved better. As far as I’m concerned it’s over.
‘If West Ham turn us over then we still haven’t done enough. If we beat them, we know 41 points in the Premier League means we’re secured and that’s what we’ve got to try and do.
‘We’re on a good run of form just at the right time, I have to say, so we’re pleased about that and it’s important that we play and we do something away from home – better than we have been doing.’
West Ham Team News:
The major blow for ‘The Hammers’ is losing influential midfielder Scott Parker through suspension.
Behrami, Franco and Diamanti are all fit to play this weekend.
Player to watch: Cole
England hopeful Carlton Cole will be looking to do what Bent has been doing week in, week out, score a goal and grab Cappello’s attention.
He is a nuisance up front, and with Sunderland changing the defence on Saturday, this will allow Cole the chance to get shots on target and give The Irons a fighting chance.
Sunderland Team News:
Reports suggest both Michael Turner and Mensah are struggling to be fit in time for the weekend but could face late fitness tests.
Hutton and Cana are also slight injury doubts with groin injuries.
Player to watch: Henderson
This season has unveiled the young local talents of Jordan Henderson on the right wing. With seven assists and a few goals he is growing in confidence under Steve Bruce.
With his crosses, pace and determination he will be looking to add to his growing reputation on Saturday in London.
Match Facts & Stats
West Ham and Sunderland have both been awarded nine penalties this season, a joint-high along with Chelsea.
Sunderland have scored 11 times in the opening 15 minutes of matches this season, more than any other side.
Referee: Mike Jones
Assistant referees: David Coote & John Flynn
Fourth official: Darren Deadman
West Ham 1 – 2 Sunderland
This is a massive game….for West Ham. It’s been a while since I have said those words!
No pressure on Sunderland and if they can play the way they did last weekend they will be expecting three points against West Ham. Although they did well at Goodison they have still got a terrible home record. First goal will be critical in deciding this tie.
Sunderland face Burnley at home next Saturday at 3pm.