By Danny Wright
COMMENT By Danny Wright
West Ham welcome Sunderland to the London Stadium on Saturday as they look to string together back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since January.
Here, Football Insider analyses three things we can expect from Slaven Bilic’s side against the league’s basement boys:
23-year-old to score
Jonathan Calleri has not started a single league game in his loan spell with the Hammers but Bilic might have to call upon him against Sunderland due to the ongoing injury crisis at the club that has recently seen Michail Antonio ruled out for the season. That means that West Ham are going to be desperate for goals. Andy Carroll has been misfiring lately and Andre Ayew didn’t offer much in the win against Swansea last week. However Calleri came off the bench and had a huge impact on proceedings. The ex-Boca Juniors attacker should be started up front and if he is then it’s likely he will find the net against a very poor Sunderland team.
West Ham will win
The Hammers haven’t been great recently but there’s one thing that everyone can agree upon is that Sunderland are absolutely awful at the moment. David Moyes cannot seem to get his players working for him and, after years of flirting with relegation, it seems that their time in the top-flight is going to be over this season. The move to the London Stadium has been a daunting prospect to the West Ham players but this is one home game that they should have no difficulty in winning, especially since the east London club haven’t lost to Sunderland since 2013. There are some key players missing from selection but even a second-string side should be able to stump up the goods against the Black Cats – who would probably struggle in the Championship.
Collins secures successful comeback
James Collins was a key part in keeping a clean sheet in the victory over Swansea last week and he could prove to Bilic that he has what it takes to oust either Winston Reid or Jose Fonte from the first team. Reid is out injured at the moment which means that the 33-year-old Welshman has been back in the side and his physical presence and experience could become a major influence on whether or not Bilic will remain as the Hammers boss next season. Collins has been a bit-part player this campaign and has only just strung three back-to-back starts together for the first time since September. Another clean sheet against Sunderland will prove that the aging centre-back still has what it takes.
In other West Ham news, fans have reacted on Twitter to the news that Antonio will miss the rest of the season.