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Premier League Preview: Sunderland - West Ham



Bardsley, Cuellar, Bramble, Rose
Larsson, Gardner, Vaughan
Johnson, Fletcher, McClean


Demel, Collins, Tomkins, Reid
J.Cole, Noble, Diarra, Jarvis

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

Wes Brown (knee) and Lee Cattermole (knee) have also been ruled out for the home side, although Stephane Sessegnon should be ready to go after recovering 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.


  • Sunderland has lost the same number of matches as it had at the same stage last season, though the Black Cats 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 goals between them. This term, more than halfway through the season, they have only managed four.

  • The last time West Ham was promoted to the top flight, it finished with 55 points in its return campaign. The Hammers are currently on target for 50.

  • West Ham currently has the same number of home victories (five) than it 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.
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