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Preview: A Must Must Must Must-Win Up Next

Sunderland host West Ham United (and the Sky Sports cameras) on Monday night. Here's everything you'll need to know before the action commences.

Alex Livesey

Sunderland Team News

Despite a tactical shift against Liverpool, Gus Poyet is expected to revert to his usual system with the onus being on his team.

Both Ki Sung-Yueng and Adam Johnson - who came off the bench against Liverpool to good effect - should return to the starting line-up.

Fabio Borini is expected to return having been ineligible against his parent club in midweek, the only decision to be made is whether he is deployed as a centre-forward or from a left-sided starting position.

Marcos Alonso's one-match suspension has expired and is available for selection.

West Ham United Team News

Sam Allardyce is without defensive duo Joey O'Brien and James Collins, so Roger Johnson is expected to partner James Tomkins at the heart of defence.

Marco Borriello is also injured, meaning that Johnson is likely to be the only change from the team that started in the win over Hull City on Wednesday.

Predicted Lineups

West Ham vs Sunderland - Football tactics and formations

Sunderland: Mannone; Bardsley, O'Shea, Brown, Alonso; Bridcutt; Johnson, Cattermole, Ki, Borini; Wickham

West Ham: Adrian; Demel, Tomkins, Johnson, McCartney; Noble, Taylor; Downing, Nolan, Diame; Carroll

Key Matchup: Adam Johnson Vs George McCartney

Almost certain to return to the side after dropping to the bench in midweek, expectations will be that Adam Johnson can back up his cameo at Anfield which saw him create one goal, and almost another with dangerous deliveries into the box.

West Ham are likely to be compact without the ball, so finding Johnson early will be key to setting him up one-on-one against McCartney.

Recent Form: WWLLLW

Win: West Ham United 2-0 Norwich City (Collins 84, Diame 90)

Win: West Ham United 3-1 Southampton (Jarvis 20, Cole 23, Nolan 71; Yoshida 8)

Loss: Everton 1-0 West Ham United (Lukaku 81)

Loss: Stoke City 3-1 West Ham United (Crouch 32, Arnautovic 69, Odemwingie 79; Carroll 5)

Loss: West Ham United 0-2 Manchester United (Rooney 8, 33)

Win: West Ham United 2-1 Hull City (Noble pen 26, Chester og 54; Jelavic 48)

Last Time Around: Sunderland 3-0 West Ham United, 12/01/13

Goals from Seb Larsson, Adam Johnson and James McClean ensured a resounding much-needed home win for the Black Cats.

Larsson's strike from the edge of the area was the perfect start for Martin O'Neill's side, before two second half finishes followed to secure valuable points. Debutant Alfred N'Diaye went close late on, and even James McFadden featured.

The Ref: Howard Webb

The South Yorkshire man has officiated us just the once this season - the home defeat to Liverpool in which Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring with his arm.

Prior to that, Sunderland had won their last three games (going unbeaten in games under Webb's facilitation last term), including the first 3-0 win at St. James' Park.

What They Said

Gus Poyet

We need the players to be giving us the sort of performance against West Ham that we saw against Liverpool. I'm pretty sure we will gain confidence from the [Liverpool] game.

I think it will do us good in the fact that we have tried something different too.

I hope I don't have to change too much for West Ham - sometimes managers can complicate things and football is simple.

Poyet also explained that Connor Wickham will once again start for Sunderland;

I have promised to Connor that he will play on Monday. After that game, I don't promise him any more.

But I was pleased with the 60 minutes he gave me at Anfield - I thought he added something extra.

And I always said I would not judge him solely against Liverpool. He will get his chance to show me more against West Ham.

But the West Ham game is such an important one that I need all my players, not just him, to bring their best game to the Stadium of Light on Monday.

Roger Johnson (West Ham Defender)

Sunderland is another big game. The boys and the coaching staff and the manager have been saying to each other that these two games against Hull and Sunderland will push us over the line if we can win them both.

I personally think 37 points will be enough. It has been a funny season, but I certainly can't see any of the bottom three getting to anywhere near to 37, to be honest.

We will just take each game as it comes and it starts again now with Sunderland.

Roker Report Predicts

Granted, a similar result to last season would be the shot in the arm that our run-in needs, but I can't help but feel that Monday night will be as tense and as frustrating (at times) as the Crystal Palace game was.

West Ham's away form is decent (11th overall), whereas our home form is wretched. Nevertheless, the final half-hour at Anfield provides cause for optimism, and the prediction of a 2-0 win - with nerves being tested aplenty before the second goal arrives.

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