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Nic Ladds 4th Dec 2010 - 13:17

Long night on Wearside for the not so happy Hammers

Since West Ham fans pleaded with Avram Grant to "Save Our Season" they have won two on the bounce and fans are starting to believe they can stay up. They now have a tricky trip to The Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland.

Sunderland (5/6) are still unbeaten on home turf and are still in seventh, pushing for a European spot. They don't concede many, just five in seven matches but they haven't scored in any of the last seven league meetings with West Ham.

Sunderland have lost just one of the last 17 matches at the Stadium of Light.

West Ham (10/3) are still rooted to the bottom of the table despite their win league win over Wigan which was followed up with a massive cup win over Manchester United. Avram Grant won't want to end their winning run as they aim to move up the table.

Despite how they line up in the table, this one could be tight, Sunderland have never fared well against the Hammers in the league - winning just one of the last 11 matches. Due to this, as much as it pains me to say, the draw could be the way to go on the 90 minutes market at 5/2.

West Ham have already won at the Stadium of Light this season, when they beat Sunderland 2-1 in the Carling Cup. A repeat of that scoreline to the visitors in this match is a massive 14/1.

Piquionne and Obinna were on the scoresheet that day and are 7/1 and 15/2 respectively to score first in this match.

In the league however, West Ham have really struggled away from home and they are on one of the most barren runs away the league has ever seen.  It has been 25 matches since they last picked up three points on their travels which perhaps makes the 5/6 on Sunderland more attractive.

West Ham have struggled to balance the goals away too, they have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 15 Premier League away games and have scored just four in their seven away matches. That could make the 11/10 on Sunderland keeping a clean sheet a good price and also Sunderland the only team to score at 9/5.

Carlton Cole was finally back amongst the goals against Man Utd and looks a decent price at 15/2 to score first and 9/4 anytime.

Darren Bent has to be the primary pick for the first goal as usual. The English hitman has scored 16 goals in his last 23 Premier League appearances for Sunderland which is fantastic and he is 4/1 to score first.

Our Match Winner offer for this week offers 5/1 that both Darren Bent and Andy Carroll (who will line up for Newcastle against West Brom in Sunday's other live game) will score at any point in their respective matches.

West Ham are having a pretty torrid season and with just 12 points from 15 matches, they are fighting for their lives at the foot of the table. They are coming into this match on the back of two victories and morale will be high but with Sunderland almost impenetrable at home, it could be another long night for the Hammers in Wearside.



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