It’s tight at the bottom, with 15th and 19th separated by just five points, but the Black Cats are unlikely to find West Ham in a mood to help them given they are just one point behind fifth-placed Man Utd. Mind you, if Sunderland can beat Man Utd then they will surely think they can beat the Hammers.
Well on recent form they might find this match a whole lot harder. West Ham are unbeaten in their last 10 home games and have lost just two of their last 13 anywhere. Moreover, they have an excellent, and unbeaten, home record against teams that have finished below them in the past three seasons of W16-D9-L0, while this season they have gone W4-D4-L1 when hosting the sides currently below them.
In contrast to the Hammers fantastic form, which may have shown even more wins had Dimitri Payet not been injured for almost two months, Sunderland have lost half their away games since the start of last season including 10 of the last 14. Those 14 matches have seen them concede 39 goals as Crystal Palace and West Brom have been the only two sides not to have scored at least twice against them.
Big Sam has undoubtedly improved the Mackems though and their January additions have certainly helped add a greater threat to the attack. They’ve recorded three wins and just two defeats in their last seven matches as they’ve scored 13 times but they’ve also not kept a clean sheet in 12 games which has led to seven of those matches having at least four goals.
West Ham are unbeaten in their last five matches against Sunderland and it’s hard to see that changing here with most of Sunderland’s improvements coming at home. However, we can see the away side finding the net. Since 2010/11, there have been 80 matches between the start of February and the end of the season where a team placed 4th-10th has hosted a side in the bottom six and 61% have had at least three goals while the home side has won 71% and 39% have resulted in home wins with both teams scoring. These general stats follow with how we see this particular match playing out and highlight the value in the home win at 1.85 and Over 2.5 Goals at 2.0. However, we’ll go for the longer shot and take West Ham to win with both to score at 4.0.
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