West Ham v Sunderland: match preview – Big Sam’s revenge?

West Ham v Sunderland: match preview – Big Sam’s revenge?
Feb 22, 2016

Sunderland West Ham

At first sight, this match up may seem nothing more than an everyday early kick off game between two average teams and has no relevance or attractiveness to a neutral viewing. West Ham v Sunderland however, promises to be one of the high intense game of the season and although you may question it at first, its guaranteed to be a great watch and here’s why.

The Teams

Off the back of a fantastic 5-1 win at championship side Blackburn rovers in the FA cup, Slaven Bilic’s  hammers attempt to continue their march for European football with victory over old friend/new enemy Sam Allardyce. Upton Park will be highly anticipating this one with a guaranteed mixed atmosphere at the old Boleyn ground for the new black cats manager. On the opposing side, I’m confident Big Sam will have a some stern words for his players in a heated pre-match talk and they’ll be raring to go come kick off with a potential fast paced, open game in contention which both teams will want to win for different reasons.

In the opposing camp, Sunderland come into this game in a confident mindset, looking to make it back to back wins after a surprise victory over a off the pace Man United side. I myself as a Sunderland fan have witnessed some appalling performances this season including a less than impressive 6-2 thrashing at Goodision Park. Yet in recent games I have noticed a sudden major boost in confidence. New signings Lamine Kone and Wahbi Khazri have settled in relatively quick and made an instant impact, both contributing to goals in the 2-1 win at the weekend. In games at Liverpool and at home v Manchester City both were pleasing, especially Lamine Kone who’s performance v City earned him a MOTM award by the BBC. Hard work and determination to succeed seems a big aspect these two have in their locker and I see their performances once again impacting on this game.

Key Players and lineups

West Ham: Dimitri Payet will be the main man for West Ham if they are to gain a much needed win from this game, the midfielder has been impressive this season getting 10 goals and 5 assists in all competitions this season. The Frenchman scored 2 at the weekend and got a goal and assist v Norwich in the last league game. I feel he will play a big part in this game also. WEST HAM Predicted XI: Adrian, Byram, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Song, Noble, Moses, Antonio, Payet, Emenike.

Sunderland: Lamine Kone is set to be the main fighter for the black cats and really get stuck into Bilic’s side. As mentioned hard work and determination is something Sunderland will benefit from in a tough away fixture and I feel Kone can help Sunderland get a result here. SUNDERLAND predicted XI: Mannone, Yedlin, Kone, O’Shea, Van Annholt, M’Vila, Cattermole, Larsson, Khazri, N’Doye, Defoe.

Prediction: West Ham United 2-2 Sunderland AFC

Goals will come for West Ham however poor defending as seen v Norwich will cost them the points here again with Khazri and Defoe looking to take advantage. This game is set up to be a thriller, a worthy watch, give it a go.

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