Gus Poyet: 'Important players missing for West Ham United'

Gus Poyet says that Sunderland must take advantage of West Ham United's injury problems in Saturday's Premier League clash at Upton Park.

Gus Poyet has said that Sunderland must take advantage of West Ham United's absentees when the two teams meet at Upton Park on Saturday.

Among those missing from Sam Allardyce's squad will be Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll, while skipper Kevin Nolan is suspended.

However, the Uruguayan warned the Black Cats that they still have a job to do with precious points to play for in the scrap at the bottom of the Premier League.

"I am sure if you are playing Barcelona, it's better if [Lionel] Messi doesn't play, and if you are playing against Real Madrid, it's better if [Cristiano] Ronaldo doesn't play," PA quotes Poyet as saying.

"They are very important players, so it's an opportunity. But I am sure the players who will play are Premier League players who are going to give 100% for West Ham.

"On paper, it could be better, but we need to play the game the same way because they are Premier League players."

The Mackems trail the Hammers by five points.

Andy Carroll of West Ham United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion on March 30, 2013
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