Sam Allardyce’s Hulk Hogan impression last week forms the basis of the pre-match chat surrounding this one – with the Hammers’ travelling faithful likely to show scant support for their boss tonight.
However, with just one point from their last five games, Sunderland aren’t looking in particularly rude health either at the moment. We don’t bandy the phrase around lightly – tonight is a MUST WIN for the Black Cats.
For the home side Fabio Borini is back in business, after missing out against parent club Liverpool last week.
James Collins sits out with a calf injury, though Matt Jarvis is back in contention after nursing his calf back to health. Swings and roundabouts and all that.
Here’s how they line up…
Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Alonso, Brown, O'Shea (c), Vergini, Ki, Bridcutt, Cattermole, Borini, Wickham.
— Sunderland AFC (@SAFCofficial) March 31, 2014
TEAMS: #WHUFC Adrian, Demel, Tomkins, Reid, McCartney, Noble, Nolan, Taylor, Downing, Carroll, Diame
— West Ham United FC (@whufc_official) March 31, 2014