All four sides in action look for their first win of 2016 on Sunday, while one of the Premier League’s newcomers hopes to continues its strong start after being promoted.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]
Sunderland vs. Middlesbrough — 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com
The Black Cats fought hard against new-look Manchester City in Pep Guardiola‘s debut last Saturday, but a late push from the Citizens kept the points away from David Moyes. Sunderland will look to rebound quickly in their first home match of 2016/17 against one of the Premier League’s three new boys. Without a host defensive options, Moyes will have to get creative with his lineup, particularly honing in on a way to stop Alvaro Negredo.
Boro impressed at times in their opening match after returning to the PL. Negredo and the team’s attack looked dangerous for much of the opener, a 1-1 draw against Stoke City, but the Spaniard will have to continue to improve if the squad can sustain long-term success. Outside of captain Grant Leadbitter battling his way back from injury, Middlesbrough is relatively healthy as they take to the road for the first time this season.
INJURIES: Sunderland — OUT: Lamine Kone (back), Younes Kaboul (pending transfer), Fabio Borini (toe), Lee Cattermole (hernia), Billy Jones (hip), Sebastian Larsson (knee), Jan Kirchhoff (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: Steven Pienaar | Middlesbrough — OUT: Marten De Roon (hamstring), Bernardo Espinosa (knee), James Husband (shoulder). QUESTIONABLE: Daniel Ayala (ankle), Grant Leadbitter (hernia)
West Ham United vs. Bournemouth — 11 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com
It was a tale of two halves for the Hammers in their opening loss against Chelsea on Monday. It seemed like a draw was in their future after James Collins pulled West Ham level following Eden Hazard‘s opener, but the Hammers backline fell victim of critical Diego Costa finish in the dying minutes. With the starting return of Dimitri Payet seemingly coming on Sunday though, Bournemouth will be given a massive challenge as the Frenchman looks to build off of his tremendous 2015/16 season.
It was always going to be a difficult task opening the new season against Manchester United, but had it not been for a crucial defensive lapse prior to halftime, the match could have turned out very different for the Cherries. Bournemouth remains one of the healthiest sides in the early portion of the campaign, which is always positive sign, however, the Hammers will provide a stiff test as both sides look to bounce back from defeats.
INJURIES: West Ham — OUT: Andre Ayew (thigh), Diafra Sakho (back), Sofiane Feghouli (hamstring), Aaron Cresswell (knee), Manuel Lanzini (knee) | Bournemouth — OUT: Junior Stanislas (groin), Tyrone MingsFollow @MattReedFutbol