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Match Preview: Will Our First London Stadium Visit See Us Grab Our First Win?

Is time running out for David Moyes as Sunderland manager? Erm, no, probably not. Are most fans growing impatient? I think so. Will a convincing win this weekend change everything? Hopefully.

Stoke City v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Losing is getting boring, isn't it? I mean, the first few are tough to take but you digest it, sit back and think, 'Well, there's still plenty of time to get our first win. No rush.'

And then, the next thing you know, it's nearly November, you're planted to the bottom of the league and you still haven't taken three points from a game.

It's becoming all too familiar. Year on year we find ourselves in this exact position. We look lost, hopeless and doomed.

And then come May, you wonder what it was that you were even worried about.

That is pretty much my last hope for this season. We've been here before and we've came out of the other end safe. Only just, like, but safe. Whilst another relegation battle wasn't exactly what we all wanted, it's clear that a relegation battle is exactly what we are going to get.

'You will eat shit and enjoy the taste of it!' is something that the great Vincent Kennedy McMahon once remarked and it's often a phrase I apply to many aspects of my life. Following Sunderland often includes the consumption of shit, and having to continually stomach it at the behest of your support for the club. I suppose we are just going to have to get on with it, aren't we?

Anyways, I'm rambling. West Ham. Now there's a daunting task. New stadium, an expensively assembled squad of players, great attacking options, solid defenders and a forward-thinking manager - what could possibly go wrong? Well erm, everything, apparently. Their new stadium just isn't working for them and whilst having players with nice names like Zaza is all well and good, their season hasn't got off to the lightening start that the Hammers had hoped for.

Winning this weekend in my eyes is an absolute necessity. If you speak to David Moyes he'd probably be content with a point and a clean sheet, but really I just want us to stop pricking about now and win some games. It's not too much to ask for, is it?

Some Interesting Stats

West Ham haven't kept a clean sheet at home in four games. Sunderland haven't kept a clean sheet away from home in seven games. Make of that what you will.

In their last 20 away games, 18 of the 23 goals scored by Sunderland have come from forwards, 2 from midfielders and 1 from defenders. What does that tell you? Well, if we're winning we're probably going to need Jermain Defoe to score. You all knew that though.

Team News

Patrick Van Aanholt and Lamine Kone are both back in training and are ready for selection ahead of tomorrow's game.

Everyone else that was knackered last week is still knackered. No new injuries though. Yes!

We still have midfield problems though, and David Moyes has to weigh up what is better - starting the anonymous Jack Rodwell and Paddy McNair because they're tall, or starting Steven Pienaar and Lynden Gooch who will hold the ball better but won't win a single header. Oh the joys.

Predicted XI: Pickford, Van Aanholt, O'Shea, Kone, Manquillo, Rodwell, Ndong, Pienaar, Khazri, Watmore, Defoe.

Manager's Crack

Talking about the pressure on him at the minute, Moyes was confident that he'll be able to change things at Sunderland.

He said:

I'm big enough. I've seen it and I know what it's like. I don't like it, but you have got to go with it. That's what you have to do, it's part of the job.

The plan is to first of all make everybody realise that there is a long-term plan and get away from the thought that it's going to be something other than that, so we are working together to change things.

Martin is doing an awful lot of things behind the scenes which won't necessarily always be noticed because obviously, what you will really judge us on is what you see on the grass at the moment. I'm the one who has got to get the bit on the grass right.

Gav's Prediction

I'm really not confident about our chances, I'll be honest. West Ham looked good last weekend against Crystal Palace and we just haven't got anything that I can hang my hat on beyond Jermain Defoe's goalscoring abilities.

I don't think we've got it in us to stay focused for a full ninety. I hate saying this, but I think a heavy defeat is headed our way. 3-0 West Ham.


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