Barclays Premier League
Sunderland v West Ham United
Stadium of Light
Saturday 31 October 2009
3pm
Referee: Andre Marriner

WHUTV - LIVE AUDIO COMMENTARY

• West Ham United will be looking to build on an encouraging second-half display against Arsenal as they seek their second win of the Barclays Premier League season. The Hammers came from two goals down at half-time last Sunday to earn a 2-2 draw. Sunderland, meanwhile, are aiming for a fifth straight home win in the top flight.

• The Hammers have had mixed fortunes on the road so far with a win, a draw and three defeats from their opening five away games.

• The trip to Sunderland will provide Gianfranco Zola's men with another tough test. The Black Cats have won four of their first five home games with just a single defeat by Chelsea the only blemish.

• West Ham will be buoyed by last season's successes against Sunderland as they completed a league 'double' over the Wearsiders. Valon Behrami's goal on 23 November was enough to win the equivalent fixture last season and end a run of seven games without a win. This season the club are on a run of eight games without a league win. Junior Stanislas and James Tomkins' first goals for the club ensured a 2-0 home win at the Boleyn Ground on 4 April.

Recalling that November 2008 turning point, Behrami said: "I hope to do the same [on Saturday] because it would be so good for the team's confidence. The Arsenal game was very strange because we went from the lowest point of the season when we were two goals down to the end, when we were at our highest point so far."

• West Ham go into the weekend 19th in the Barclays Premier League table, having collected six points from nine matches. Their hosts on Saturday are ten points and eleven places higher, having played a game more.

• This will be the 69th league meeting between the two sides. West Ham have won 25, Sunderland have won 26 and there have been 17 draws.

Last time out

Sunday 25 October 2009
Barclays Premier League
West Ham United 2-2 Arsenal
West Ham United: Green, Spector, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami, Parker, Noble (Diamanti 56), Collison, Franco (Hines 64), Cole
Subs not used: Kurucz, Faubert, Da Costa, Kovac, Stanislas

Tuesday 27 October 2009
Carling Cup
Sunderland 0-0 Aston Villa (aet)
Sunderland: Gordon, Turner, Da Silva, Nosworthy, McCartney (Ferdinand 78), Richardson, Cana, Henderson, Murphy (Reid 73), Jones, Campbell (Malbranque 95)
Subs not used: Fulop, Healy, Meyler, Reed

Last meeting

The teams last met on 4 April this year when goals from Junior Stanislas and James Tomkins helped West Ham United to 2-0 home win. The teams that day were:

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Stanislas (Lopez 89, Spector (J.Collins 72), Noble, Boa Morte, Di MIchele (Dyer 81), Tristan
Subs not used: Lastuvka, Payne, Savio, Sears
Goals: Stanislas 42, Tomkins 52

Sunderland: Gordon, Bardsley, D.Collins, Ferdinand, Ben Haim, Malbranque (Edwards 75), Richardson, Leadbitter, Whitehead, Murphy (Jones 54), Cisse
Subs not used: Fulop, Nosworthy, McShane, Reid, Healy

Head to head

Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)

4 April 2009 - West Ham United 2-0 Sunderland
23 November 2008 - Sunderland 0-1 West Ham United
29 March 2008 - Sunderland 2-1 West Ham United
21 October 2007 - West Ham United 3-1 Sunderland
4 February 2006 - West Ham United 2-0 Sunderland
1 October 2005 - Sunderland 1-1 West Ham United

Overall record v Sunderland (all competitions) W 30 D 19 L 28

Next up

• West Ham United will next be in action on Wednesday evening when they play host to Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League. Sunderland travel to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday 7 November.

Referee

• Saturday's referee is Andre Marriner, who was in the man in the middle for the Barclays Asia Trophy defeat by Tottenham Hotspur in Beijing on 29 July. He also took charge of the 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on 19 September.

• Marriner began refereeing in 1992, progressing through the Birmingham Amateur Football League and Southern League to take his place as a Football League assistant referee in 2000.

• Marriner became a Football League referee in 2003, before taking charge of his first Premier League fixture, Charlton Athletic versus Norwich City, the following year.

• Still only 38, the official joined the Select Group of officials in 2005.

• Last season, Marriner took charge of two West Ham United fixtures, both away from home. He was the man in the middle for the 2-1 win at Fulham in Gianfranco Zola's third match as Hammers manager, as well as the 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough on 1 November.

• This season, Marriner has been invited to join the list of FIFA international referees.

West Ham United

• Last season's 'double' over the Black Cats maintained an impressive run of form for the Hammers. They have lost just once in their last six meetings between the two sides, with four wins and a draw.

• Five players - Junior Stanislas, Mark Noble, Matthew Upson (two), Alessandro Diamanti (two) and Carlton Cole (five) have got on the league scoresheet for the Hammers so far this season.

• Carlton Cole is the Hammers' leading scorer with five Premier League goals - half the tally he managed in the whole of the 2008/09 campaign. That tally puts him joint seventh in the race for the Golden Boot. He has still never scored two goals in a game for West Ham.

• Cole has had more shots (29) than any other West Ham player with 17 hitting the target.

• Diamanti has created more goals (3) than any other player, while Noble has put in more crosses (11) than anyone else.

• Zavon Hines, player of the month for September, has won more free-kicks (18) than any other player.

• At the back, Carlton Cole has made more clearances (9), while James Tomkins has made more defensive blocks (7).

• Robert Green has played 97 consecutive Barclays Premier League games. All being well, he will reach his unbroken century when Everton visit the Boleyn Ground on Sunday 8 November.

• West Ham's biggest ever win away at Sunderland came on 9 September 1967, when goals from Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst (two), Harry Redknapp and Bobby Moore helped them to a 5-1 victory.

• West Ham's biggest ever win over Sunderland came in the shape of an 8-0 success at the Boleyn Ground on 19 October 1968. Geoff Hurst scored six goals - including a hat-trick in each half - while Bobby Moore and a young Trevor Brooking added one apiece.

Sunderland

• Sunderland will be looking to get back to winning ways on Saturday following two defeats in a row. After losing 2-1 to Birmingham City last weekend, Steve Bruce's men were eliminated from the League Cup on Tuesday after losing a penalty shoot-out to Aston Villa.

• Darren Bent is the second highest scorer in the Premier League with eight goals, one behind leader Fernando Torres.

• Bent has been caught offside 15 times so far this season, which alongside Robbie Keane, is the most in the Premier League.

• Bent has had more shots than any other Sunderland player (26), with 15 of them hitting the target.

• Bent has scored all but one of Sunderland's home league goals this season.

• Andy Reid leads the assist chart for Wearsiders (four) and has made more crosses (50) than any other players.

• Anton Ferdinand has made more defensive blocks (eleven) than any other player.

• Sunderland's biggest ever win at over West Ham came on 5 March 1977, when the Black Cats romped to a 6-0 victory over the Londoners.

Team news

• Gianfranco Zola still has a near-full squad to choose from with only Kieron Dyer a new injury worry. The midfielder has a fresh hamstring strain and will be out for a few weeks.

• Scott Parker will serve a one-match suspension so Radoslav Kovac could come in to the side as he did when Parker was suspended at Stoke City

• Gianfranco Zola will have to decide whether to give starts to Alessandro Diamanti and Zavon Hines after the impact they made off the bench against the Gunners.

• Terry Dixon scored his first goal in a West Ham United shirt in a special reserve friendly in Poland on Tuesday. Fabio Daprela also got his first goal for the club in a 2-2 draw.

• Long-term absentee Luis Boa Morte (knee) has been back as steps up his rehab, although he is some months off a comeback. Dean Ashton (ankle) and Calum Davenport (leg) remain long-term absentees with no date set for their return.

• Sunderland are hopeful that Darren Bent will recover after sitting out in midweek with a knee concern.

• Steve Bruce also has concerns over Frazier Campbell and George McCartney with knocks, along with defender David Bardsley (shoulder). Lee Cattermole (knee), John Mensah (calf) and new recruit Bolo Zenden (hamstring) are also concerns.

Old boys

• Anton Ferdinand began his career at West Ham's famed Academy, making 163 appearances and scoring five goals for the Hammers before joining Sunderland in August 2008.

• Left-back George McCartney, who joined Sunderland in summer 2008, spent two seasons at the Boleyn Ground, making 71 appearances and scoring one goal for West Ham. The Northern Ireland defender made 157 appearances during his first spell with Sunderland before joining the Hammers in August 2006.

• Midfielder Kieran Richardson began his career at West Ham, but failed to make a first team appearance before joining Manchester United in 2002. The 24-year-old joined Sunderland in July 2007.

• Among the other players who have represented both clubs are Dick Bell, Gary Breen, Clive Clarke, Keith Coleman, Ernest England, John Foreman, Harry Forster, Jack Foster, Harry Hooper, Don Hutchison, Mick McGiven, Andy Melville, Billy Moore, Bryan 'Pop' Robson and Dave Swindlehurst.

General information

• For ticket information, click here

• Saturday's weather forecast is for a bright sunny day, with a maximum daytime temperature of 16C.