West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has a perfect opportunity to temporarily silence the doubters against 20th place Sunderland at Upton Park from 10am ET live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
Big Sam has been hearing a growing number of calls for his sacking this week, with the Hammers having fallen into the relegation zone just above the Black Cats.
He’ll be without captain Kevin Nolan thanks to his straight red against Liverpool, but Ravel Morrison returns from his suspension and slides into the lineup.
For Sunderland, Vito Mannone continues in goal with Kieran Westwood struggling with his shoulder injury, and Carlos Cuellar misses out with a hip injury.
Fabio Borini and Jozy Altidore both start alongside each other up front. It’s possible that Borini slides in behind the American for service, or the two will play side-by-side and Emmanuel Giaccherini will serve as their creative option in the attacking midfield.
Altidore has looked energized by scoring his first Premier League goal of the year two weeks ago, and will hope his boosted confidence continues to manifest itself in the attack.
West Ham – Jaaskelainen; McCartney, Tomkins, Jarvis, Maiga; Morrison, Noble, Collins, Demel, Diame; J.Cole.
Bench – Dossena, Cabral, Gardner, Fletcher, Johnson, Pickford, Roberge.
Sunderland – Mannone; Celustka, Bardsley, Brown, O’Shea; Cattermole, Ki, Larsson, Giaccherini; Borini, Altidore.
Bench – Dossena, Cabral, Gardner, Fletcher, Johnson, Roberge, Pickford.