Preview: West Ham United v Sunderland


Black Cats looking for positive reaction in the capital.

Gus Poyet’s Sunderland will look to maintain their recent unbeaten record against West Ham United when they travel to the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

The Black Cats are unbeaten in their last four matches with the Hammers and a win over Sam Allardyce’s side would close the gap between the two sides to just two points.

West Ham have won once in their last eight league matches and have scored six goals in that period.

Hammers boss Allardyce made 27 appearances for Sunderland during the 1980-81 season and also had a brief spell on Peter Reid’s coaching staff in 1996.

The former Sunderland defender first came up against his former club as a manager in 1999 with Bolton Wanderers and has since won only three of the 18 games in which he has taken charge of a side against Sunderland.

Black Cats head coach Gus Poyet never lost in the seven games in which he featured as a player against the Hammers, winning three and drawing four.

Multiple Sunderland players are looking to continue their own good form against the East London outfit with Craig Gardner, who scored the winner as Birmingham defeated West Ham on aggregate in the semi-finals of the League Cup in 2011, unbeaten in his six games against the Hammers during his career.

Sebastian Larsson scored his last league goal for Sunderland in a 3-0 win over West Ham United at the Stadium of Light in January 2013.

And Scotland international striker Steven Fletcher has three goals in three games at the Boleyn Ground whilst Black Cats winger Adam Johnson has two goals in his last three games against the Hammers.

Saturday’s meeting will be the 85th between the two sides with West Ham just edging the head-to-head record with 32 wins compared to Sunderland’s 31 successes whilst there have also been 21 draws.