West Ham vs. Sunderland: Six Key Battles
Indeed, the move to the London Stadium was meant to usher in a new era for the Hammers, whilst Sam Allardyce was seen as the perfect candidate to rescue the Black Cats from their endless cycle of last-minute aversion from relegation to the Championship.
But eight games in, with a new stadium and new manager respectively, West Ham and Sunderland find themselves in 15th place and bottom place – separated by just five points.
Perhaps it’s a little too early in the season to call it, but Saturday’s 3pm meet in East London is on the border of being a relegation clash – neither side can afford to lose.
With that in mind, this weekend’s game looks set to be a close-knit affair that could well be decided by which team dominates the key individual battles.