Last weeks heroics against Tottenham mean Sunderland are now safe & this is no longer a relegation 6 pointer, but that doesn’t make life easier for West Ham United & this certainly looks like being a really competitive match which is hard to call.
West Ham United are the team under the biggest pressure to win this match & the team most desperate for the points as they sit perrilously close to the relegation zone & this is without doubt a must win game for them.
To their great credit, West Ham United did respond with real fight & determination last weekend to earn highly creditable 2-2 draw & vital league point away at Everton & that should give the West Ham United players a much needed confidence boost ahead of this match.
With the likes of Liverpool away, Fulham away & Man City & Wigan still to come at home for West Ham, the 3 points on offer here are truly massive & could well be the points that keep them safe so they have to go all out for the win here.
West Ham United always look to play positive football & that will give them a chance and they will feel playing a Sunderland side who have only won once away from home increases their chances but they cannot afford to be complacent & they will have to be on their best form to get the win here.
The key tactical blow for West Ham United is that their best player & biggest influence Scott Parker is suspended & his abscence from midfield does pose big problems for them & it will be interesting to see how they cope with that.
Steve Bruce was clearly a very happy & relieved man last weekend as Sunderland produced a fantastic performance to beat Tottenham 3-1 & secure their place in the Premier League for another season.
While Steve Bruce will be happy they have survived, he will not be at all happy that it has taken this long & certainly not at all happy that it is Sunderland’s incredibly poor away record that is the main reason for that.
Sunderland have only won once away from home all season & have only picked up 7 points from a possible 48 away from which is clearly not good enough.
Steve Bruce has stated that he wants to finish the season as strongly as possible & given the immense confidence boost the Sunderland team will have from beating Tottenham so impressively last weekend, we do expect them to come here confident & believing they can win.
Sunderland undoubtedly have the attacking capabalities in their side to cause problems & Darren Bent is a striker who will cause any defence problems & certainly one as fragile as West Ham’s has been this season.
This should be a cracking game as we expect both West Ham United & Sunderland to have a real go and again anything is possible but on balance a competitive, scoring draw looks a tempting option & a value bet well worth taking here.
Outright Match Betting Results: DRAW
Correct Score options: 1-1/2-2
First Goalscorer each way/Player to score anytime: Cole/Bent/Malbranque
Scorecast options: Cole/Bent/Malbranque score 1st & 1-1/2-2
Double Result: DRAW H/T & F/T