Mar 31, 2014 at 8pm UK at ​Stadium of Light
West HamWest Ham United
Johnson (65')
Alonso (73'), Wickham (75')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Carroll (9'), Diame (50')
Noble (3'), Nolan (67'), Reid (88'), Adrian (90')

Preview: Sunderland vs. West Ham United

Sports Mole looks ahead to Monday evening's Premier League clash between Sunderland and West Ham United at the Stadium of Light.

If Sunderland are to retain their Premier League status for another season, they need to start picking up positive results quickly.

Only Swansea City (three) have picked up fewer points from their last six outings than the Black Cats (four), which has left Gus Poyet's side entrenched within the relegation zone.

However, despite the defeat, there was reason for optimism during the 2-1 defeat to title-chasing Liverpool last time out. Poyet opted for a 3-5-2 formation at Anfield, but for West Ham United's visit to the Stadium of Light on Monday, the Uruguayan boss may well revert to the more usual 4-4-2 tactic.

Having impressed from the bench against Liverpool, Adam Johnson and Ki Sung-Yueng could be restored to the starting lineup, while Fabio Borini will almost certainly be recalled, having sat out the clash against the Reds due to the terms of his loan agreement.

Full-back Marcos Alonso should also return following a one-match suspension and Poyet may also keep faith with young striker Connor Wickham in the absence of the injured Steven Fletcher.

As for the visiting Hammers, all is not well among the Upton Park faithful. They were jeered off by supporters on Wednesday night even though they had beaten Hull City 2-1, with manager Sam Allardyce further angering fans by cupping his ear to the boos.

The East Londoners, who have won just three games away from home all term, go into the clash nine points better off than their hosts.

Centre-back James Collins limped off against Hull with an injury that could also rule him out on Wearside. If the Welsh international is not available, it's likely that he will be replaced by Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Roger Johnson.

Sunderland have won 20 of their previous 41 home matches with West Ham, with the visitors collecting maximum points on 13 occasions.

Recent form

Sunderland: LLLDLL

West Ham: WWLLLW

Possible starting lineups

Sunderland: Mannone; Alonso, O'Shea, Brown, Bardsley; Colback, Bridcutt, Ki, Johnson; Borini, Wickham

West Ham: Adrian; Demel, Johnson, Tomkins, McCartney; Taylor, Diame, Noble, Nolan, Downing; Carroll

Sports Mole says: 1-1

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Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers encourages his players during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014
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