The Nigerian Online Newspaper

EPL: Black Cats dare Hammers

Sunderland v West Ham
Venue: Stadium of Light
Kick off: 3PM

Bottom-club Sunderland’s hopes of avoiding the drop are hanging by a thread as they prepare to host West Ham in the Premier League.
The Black Cats have won just once in 2017 and are 10 points from safety, though they do have a game in hand over 17th-placed Hull City.
Meanwhile, West Ham were slipping precariously close to the drop zone after a run of five defeats, but victory over Swansea moved them up to 36 points alongside Leicester, Burnley and Stoke.
Captain Mark Noble believes the Hammers need just one more win to confirm safety, while Sunderland are unable to hit the 40-point mark even if they win their remaining seven games.
Sunderland are winless in their last seven league games against West Ham (D3 L4), with the last two finishing 1-0 to the Hammers.
However, West Ham haven’t done the league double against Sunderland since the 2008/09 campaign (under Gianfranco Zola).
Jermain Defoe has scored six goals in 15 Premier League games against his former club, but he’s yet to score against them in three appearances for Sunderland.
Sunderland manager, David Moyes, concedes seeing his side sit bottom of the Premier League and 10 points from safety with just a few games left is difficult
Sunderland have now gone seven successive Premier League games and 675 minutes without scoring.
The Premier League record is currently held by Crystal Palace in 1994/95, who went nine consecutive games and 838 minutes without a goal.
It is almost three months since Sunderland scored a goal at home in the Premier League (January 14) and they’ve now attempted 51 successive shots without scoring at the Stadium of Light.
West Ham have lost 16 Premier League matches this season, already twice the number they lost in the whole of last season (8).

Sunderland Possible XI: Pickford, Jones, Kone, Denayer, Manquillo, Cattermole, Ndong, Rodwell, Borini, Defoe, Anichebe.
West Ham Possible XI: Randolph, Byram, Fonte, Collins, Cresswell, Kouyate, Nordtveit, Snodgrass, Lanzini, Ayew, Carroll.