West Ham V Sunderland - Opta Preview

West Ham United Upton Park Saturday 20th April Sunderland 34 Games35  ATTACKING 42 Goals scored26 1.24 Ave goals per game0.74 43% Shooting Accuracy41% 11% Goals to shots %7%  PASSING 12,837 Passes14,231 73% Pass completion %72%  DEFENDING 73% Tackle success rate %76% 51 Goals conceded45 1.50 Ave goals conceded per game1.29  DISCIPLINE 523 Fouls576 57 Yellow cards63 3 Red cards1 8,893 Opta Index Score8,513
West Ham United v Sunderland

Whisper it in East London, but it seems that West Ham are getting it together, while up on Wearside Sunderland are just glad that they are in a better position than many. As this year's Premiership marathon stumbles towards to finish line and looks forward to the silver-foil cloak of the summer, what can be expected of this game?

At Upton Park, the Hammers have been a solid prospect, having conceded just 13 goals at home this season - only Liverpool have conceded fewer on their own ground. A quick look at the table sees West Ham in seventh place and although there is a 13-point gap between themselves and Leeds in sixth place, it is a good sign for Glenn Roeder's team.

If you are looking for specific reasons why they are so miserly at home then Christian Daily's 371 defensive clearances - the fifth most by any player in the top flight - is a good starting point. The other reason could well be the excellent form this season of goalkeeper David James. The former Liverpool and Aston Villa stopper has kept out 79% of the shots that he has faced this season and, of regular 'keepers, only Jerzy Dudek and David Seaman can better that. Sven Goran Eriksson take note.

When Peter Reid appeared in a television documentary about his role at Sunderland, his swearing was beeped so often when the programme was aired, some people though he gave his team talks in Morse code. However, his passion for the game is clearly infectious as the Black Cats' tackle success rate of 76% is the best in the top flight.

Sadly, that fighting spirit has not helped them in front of goal. Sunderland have only scored with 7% of their shots which is frankly the reason that they have had such a turnabout in fortunes over the last few seasons. During the 1999-00 season they scored with 15% of their shots (the third best return in the division), the following season it fell to 11% (14th best) and then this season the proverbial bull's backside has been largely banjo free.

It would be churlish to blame all their goalscoring woes on Kevin Phillip's dip in form as he only represents one 11th of the team, but it is interesting to note his stats regarding shooting. During the 1999-00 season he hit the target with 65 shots and scored with 30 of them - a stunning return. This season he has hit the target with 62 shots (so far) and has scored nine times. It appears that quality and not quantity is the problem.

Both of these sides will be looking at this game in terms of next season as much as ending this one and there is work to be done for both sides - especially considering Sunderland are not mathematically safe yet. After all, the new season starts on the 17th of August and it will be here faster than you think.

Matt Pomroy

Match referee: S. Bennett

Like a Panther sliding into a silk robe, Steve Bennett is smooth and efficient and only two other officials in charge of Premiership games are more lenient on average. He slips among the players and does not stop the game if he can really help it. Niiiice.

Referee's Name  FoulsPenaltiesYellow CardsRed CardsAve Disc pointsS. Bennett 436 0 48 5 35.88

click below for in-depth comparisonKanoute v Phillips


Joe Cole, who missed last week's 1-1 draw with Tottenham with a thigh strain, will return to the line-up after he proved his fitness by playing in England's midweek international against Paraguay.

Fellow midfielder Michael Carrick, who took a knock in the final minute of the previous night's England Under-21 game, was in full training on Friday and manager Glenn Roeder expects him to be fit. England Under-21 striker Jermain Defoe will again deputise for injured skipper Paolo di Canio up front.

click on links below to place a wager + more markets

Match Result
West Ham 4/5
Draw 9/4
Sunderland 11/4

Correct Score
West Ham 1-0 6/1
West Ham 2-0 13/2
West Ham 2-1 7/1
West Ham 3-0 12/1
West Ham 3-1 12/1
West Ham 3-2 25/1
West Ham 4-0 33/1
West Ham 4-1 28/1
West Ham 4-2 50/1
West Ham 5-0 80/1
West Ham 5-1 80/1
West Ham 6-0 100/1
West Ham 6-1 100/1
Draw 0-0 8/1
Draw 1-1 11/2
Draw 2-2 14/1
Draw 3-3 50/1
Sunderland 1-0 8/1
Sunderland 2-0 16/1
Sunderland 2-1 12/1
Sunderland 3-0 40/1
Sunderland 3-1 33/1
Sunderland 3-2 33/1
Sunderland 4-0 100/1
Sunderland 4-1 100/1
Sunderland 4-2 100/1

Double Result
West Ham/West Ham 2/1
West Ham/Draw 16/1
West Ham/Sunderland 33/1
Draw/West Ham 7/2
Draw/Draw 7/2
Draw/Sunderland 7/1
Sunderland/West Ham 25/1
Sunderland/Draw 16/1
Sunderland/Sunderland 6/1

First Goalscorer
F Kanoute 4/1
J Defoe 9/2
P Kitson 6/1
R Garcia 7/1
T Sinclair 12/1
J Cole 14/1
M Carrick 14/1
L Courtois 16/1
I Pearce 16/1
S Moncur 20/1
S Lomas 20/1
V Labant 25/1
S Schmemel 33/1
T Repka 40/1
C Dailly 40/1
N Winterburn 50/1
S Potts 66/1
No Goalscorer 8/1
K Phillips 5/1
P M'boma 6/1
N Quinn 15/2
K Kyle 8/1
C Reyna 14/1
K Kilbane 16/1
S Schwarz 20/1
J Mcateer 20/1
G Mccann 20/1
P Thirlwell 25/1
M Gray 33/1
G Mccartney 40/1
D Williams 40/1
J Craddock 50/1
J Bjorklund 50/1
T Butler 50/1
B Haas 50/1

For all these bets + much more go now to surreySPORTS.co.uk