Date: 3rd October 2015 at 9:29am
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Rock-bottom Sunderland host West Ham United at the Stadium of Light still searching for their first league win of the season.

Black Cats boss Dick Advocaat must be wondering why he returned from retirement with his side looking open at the back and toothless up front.

During the Dutchman’s time in charge of the club, Sunderland have picked up just 14 points from 16 games and another defeat here may lead to his departure for a second time – with ex-Leicester boss Nigel Pearson strongly linked with the post.

Jack Rodwell could return following his ankle injury but Adam Matthews remains on the treatment table for another few weeks.

Jermain Defoe will likely be given a start after being benched against Manchester United.

Meanwhile, West Ham are sitting pretty at third in the table and are only three points off the top. Their performance last week wasn’t vintage but a late equaliser against Norwich displayed battling qualities that will have pleased manager Slaven Bilic.

A win in this fixture would make it four in a row away from home for the first time since the 1985-86 season. The omens look good with only one defeat against the Black Cats in six games and in Dimitri Payet they have one of the summer’s best signings. The Frenchman has had a hand in 13 goals in his last 15 games in England and France.

Andy Carroll will be eager to get his first start after appearing a number of times as a substitute but Diafra Sakho is in great form with two strikes in his last two league games so will continue to lead the line.

Winston Reid has impressed at the back during this campaign but might have to sit out this match with a hip problem. If he does he will join Alex Song and Angelo Ogbonna on the sidelines.

League Position: Sunderland – 20th (2 pts); West Ham – 3rd (13 pts)
Last Meeting: West Ham 1-0 Sunderland, March 2015
Key Men: Sunderland – Jeremain Lens; West Ham – Dimitri Payet
Form: Sunderland – LDDLLL; West Ham – LLWWWD
Shoot Says: Sunderland 1-1 West Ham

 
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