Sunderland travel to the Boleyn this weekend in a fixture which will see Dick Advocaat take his Premier League bow. Having won only one of the last twelve Premier League fixtures Sunderland will be looking for a change in fortunes at a ground where their last victory was under Steve Bruce in 2010.
Adam Johnson is available again after the club lifted the suspension put in place due to his arrest on suspicion of sexual activity with a 15 year old girl.
Lee Cattermole will serve the last in a two match ban for accumulating 10 yellow cards.
Emmanuel Giaccherini is Sunderland’s only long term injury currently with the Italy international likely to miss the remainder of the season.
Will Buckley is still a doubt as he recovers from a persistent knee problem.
The Hammers will be without long term injury sufferers Andy Carroll (Knee) and James Tomkins (Shoulder).
Winston Reid and Carlton Cole could be in contention after both receiving treatment for Hamstring injuries.
Enner Valencia is a slight doubt as he recovers from a ‘Freak Injury’ where he stood on a broken cup at his home.
Sunderland go into the game with only one win from their last twelve games, this being the home win against Burnley in January. Sunderland's away form is remarkably similar to their home form which has seen them win only twice on the road all season, the last being the memorable win against Newcastle in December.
West Ham, as we all know, started the season very brightly and saw them rise to as high as third with fifteen games gone. This form has steadily declined and resulted in the Hammers winning just one of their last nine games.
Pantilimon, Reveillere, Van Aanholt, O'Shea (c), Brown, Bridcutt, Larsson, Rodwell, Alvarez, Fletcher, Defoe.
Adrian, O'Brien, Collins, Kouyate, Cresswell, Song, Noble, Nolan (c), Jarvis, Downing, Sakho
The reverse fixture on 13th December resulted in a 1-1 draw which saw Stuart Downing's deflected shot cancel out Jordi Gomez' controversial 22 minute penalty.
The Sunderland Gaffer Dick Advocaat is still yet to speak to the media ahead of his first game as Sunderland Head Coach but Sam Allardyce had this to say:
"Dick Advocaat has managed around the world so I don't think there will be too many surprises for him coming to manage in the Premier League,"
"It's more about him getting used to his players and how best to use them to get a result.
"A new manager can have an instant effect but then it might take a bit longer."
"It can be a short-term hit, although generally over the long-term the stats show it doesn't make a huge difference, but I think it can in the short term."
"We have problems we need to resolve and our goal is to win football matches, not play well and not win."
"Our most important goal is to get a victory, that's very important to us on the basis of a poor points total over the last 12 games or so."
I'm usually quite positive when it comes to Sunderland but last weeks performance really shocked me. However, with a new manager in place and West Ham's form not what it was earlier on in the season i'm going for a 1-2 to the lads.
Hopefully we will get a chance to see Duncan Watmore make an appearance.