WEST HAM UNITED v SUNDERLAND
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 14 DECEMBER 2013
REFEREE: ANDRE MARRINER
FInal score - West Ham United 0-0 Sunderland
94: That's it. Full-time. Another clean sheet, but in the final analysis that's a point rather than the three we so badly needed. Anyway, we're off to Manchester United next week and everyone wins there these days...
93: McCartney nearly scores with a cross! Mannane backpedals and tips the ball over the bar for a corner. Last chance? Noble delivers and Collins heads wide of the far upright.
91: Into the first of four added minutes and West Ham go close. Diame runs through two tackles before the ball spins wide right for Maiga. He finds Collison, who is tackled. The ball goes back to Maiga, who crosses left-footed. Cole leaps and the ball flicks off a head and wide of the far post. Goal kick.
88: The attendance is 31,843. Most of them are jumping up and down with disbelief as Diame puts the ball out after Giaccherini had gone down injured. The fact Diame was level with the edge of the Sunderland penalty area won't help the mood of the home fans.
86: Morrison has another go, driving forward and then shooting low and wide from 25 yards. Diame is voted Man of the Match by our Match Sponsors England Environmental Services.
85: I should say, it's 4-4-2 from West Ham with Cole and Maiga leading the line. Maiga does well initially to hold the ball up, then he overhits the pass for Collison, who fouls his man.
82: Sunderland make their final change. Bardsley is replaced by Italian Dossena.
81: Morrison has it and it's three on three. He ignores his team-mates and tries to go alone, but is run out of it. He then checks and should roll the ball square for Collison. He doesn't. Morrison dinks a cross into the box that is cleared.
79: Jaaskelainen comes to West Ham's rescue again with a smart save from Johnson after Fletcher had done well to hold off Tomkins on the edge of the penalty area.
78: Sunderland threatening again as West Ham cannot keep possession. Bardsley cuts inside and loses the attention of Diame but he drives his shot wide.
75: Joe Cole brings the ball forward at pace down the centre before finding Diame. He is tackled by the last defender and the ball loops into the air. Diame volleys it straight at Mannone from 20 yards. Carlton is on for Joe as West Ham make their final change.
74: We are going to see Carlton Cole after all.
72: Sunderland are readying Fletcher and Johnson. Borini is replaced by Johnson and Altidore by Fletcher.
71: Cole cuts infield and finds Maiga. He lays the ball off and Collison shoots first time, but the ball goes a fair way wide of the far post.
70: Another threatening Sunderland raid is ended by Tomkins, who then carries the ball about 70 yards from the edge of his own box before winning a throw.
68: Loanee Jordan Spence is having a good day. His MK Dons side are 2-0 up at Wolves in League One.
66: West Ham win a free-kick on halfway. Tomkins launches it into the box and Collins jumps with Brown. It hits the Welshman on the head and rolls away for a goal kick.
64: Morrison and Diame try to open Sunderland up with individual runs, but it just won't happen in the attacking third so far.
61: It's another chance for the visitors as Altidore gets away from Tomkins inside the box. He shoots low, but Jaaskelainen gets down smartly to his right and holds on. Good save. That was Sunderland's 16th shot and fifth on target.
60: Sunderland come close again. This time Ki is at the hub of the move before the ball is worked to Bardsley. He finds Giaccherini in space on the edge of the box, who slams a shot a couple of yards past the angle of post and crossbar.
58: The reason why Carlton didn't come on is now clear. O'Brien will be on shortly. There must be an injury in the back four. Meanwhile, Larsson drives a low shot wide. It is Demel who is replaced. Demel has been ill this week, so that may explain his replacement.
57: Diame runs at Bardsley and gets past the full-back but falls as he shoots and the ball flies into the near side netting.
56: A changes for the Hammers. Jarvis is replaced by Collison. The board also went up showing Maiga was going to be replaced by Carlton Cole, but Big Sam changed his mind at the last minute.
55: Better. Cole collects from Morrison wide right before feeding the ball into the box for Diame. He holds off his man and finds Demel supporting on the right. His cross is headed out as far as McCartney on the far side. He plays the ball inside for Morrison, who spins his man and shoots low. Mannone dives to his right and collects.
52: Collison is out warming up on the touchline. Sunderland are having more of the ball again. They are working hard, are the visitors. A few balls have been knocked forward in Maiga's direction, but nothing that he can work off effectively.
50: Sunderland counter and the ball is poked back to Altidore, whose well-struck shot hits Demel and bounces away for yet another Sunderland corner. It is taken short but the cross comes in and is cleared.
49: Demel beats Borini with a drop of the shoulder, then drives his cross over the crossbar and behind for a goal kick. Moments earlier, McCartney's low cross had threatened before being cleared.
48: It's not been the best of starts to the second half!
46: No changes from either manager at the break. Morrison and Jarvis get the game started.
Half-time score - West Ham United 0-0 Sunderland
46: Celustka shoots this time and only Tomkins' head keeps it off target. From the latest corner, the ball is cleared as far as Bardsley, who tests Jaaskelainen with another blockbuster from distance. The Finn dives to his left and pushes the ball away. The half-time whistle is blown. It's goalless. Miraculously.
45: Collins heads the ball out straight to Giaccherini, whose shot hits Demel on the boot and loops wide. Larsson's corner is a wicked, dipping one that eludes Collins but Altidore cannot control. The ball comes back over from the Sunderland left and a shot hits Demel in the head.
42: Diame wins the ball back on halfway before finding Morrison to his left. The No15 dances into the box and tries a few tricks before laying back for McCartney, whose cross eludes everyone. Cole retrieves but his cross is caught by Mannone.
40: Larsson curls his corner out of play. Jaaskelainen clears upfield, Maiga flicks on and Cole collects. He elects to shoot left-footed from a difficult angle and the ball goes wide of the far post.
39: Oh dear. Ki over-runs the ball and it should be a goal kick, but he thinks Cole has touched it on the slide. He didn't touch the ball... Larsson's corner is deep and hits Demel, I think, before dribbling behind for another corner.
37: Sunderland threaten again as Bardsley crosses from the left and the header is glanced wide by Borini.
35: Cole loses out inside the Sunderland half and they attack down their left. Bardsley overlaps and collects before cutting inside and sending in a rasping shot that cannons back off the crossbar! The ball bounces outside the box off the woodwork and Morrison is able to clear.
31: Demel concedes another corner over on the far side. Maiga heads Larsson's delivery powerfully clear.
30: Sunderland are adamant they should have a penalty for a push by McCartney on Altidore and surround Mr Marriner, who has given a corner. The corner is taken to the edge of the box but Ki's shot is not well hit.
28: Collins delays taking a free-kick on halfway because he doesn't believe Altidore is ten yards away. He probably isn't. Collins hits the ball straight against the American and Sunderland have two on two! Jaaskelainen makes a save low down from Borini. That would have made a frustrated home crowd even less happy.
27: To be fair, West Ham are controlling this now almost completely. Diame collects a ball in from the right and cuts across the pitch about 25 yards out. He shoots on the run but it's a bit wild. If the Hammers can move the ball quickly and accurately, they can open this Sunderland defence up. The visitors look a little jittery at the back.
25: The referee has let the game flow in recent moments, despite some frustration from the home crowd. When Noble goes in high on Borini and is booked, their mood does not improve.
21: The corner comes over and Tomkins wins it at the far post. Demel might give his marker Borini a slight push before hooking the ball into the net. The goal is disallowed by Mr Marriner.
20: Maiga uses his body well and is fouled by Brown 30 yards out as he shields the ball. Noble lofts the free-kick in and Sunderland somehow scramble it clear following some pinball. Noble then finds Jarvis wide left and his cross is cleared at the far post.
19: Maiga wins another header and Cole finds Jarvis. He gets to the byline and crosses low, but the ball takes a deflection and is caught easily enough by Mannone at the near post.
18: Noble commits a foul 30-odd yards out wide on the left. Larsson takes it too quickly for Mr Marriner, who blows his whistle as the shot flies into the stand. When he takes for the second time, Brown is caught offside.
17: Sunderland are keeping possession the better of the two sides at present. As I type, Diame finds McCartney, who sweeps the ball up for Maiga. He spins superbly and then gives the ball to Celustka as he tries to play in Jarvis.
14: West Ham should have a corner as Bardsley chests a Jarvis cross behind, but the assistant thinks the ball has already gone out. It hadn't.
11: Tomkins clears as far as Diame, who finds McCartney in space wide left. Jarvis points to where he wants it and runs into space. Celustka blocks the cross and the ball hits Jarvis again and goes behind for a goal kick.
10: Sunderland are finding plenty of space in which to play and are getting to within 30 yards off the West Ham goal a bit too easily. Larsson has the ball now until he is crunched by McCartney. The ball loops high into the air and behind for a Hammers goal kick.
7: Cor blimey! The corner is headed out as far as Ki 20 yards out. He shoots on the volley and the ball takes a deflection and spins past the post. The second corner is headed up into the air on the edge of the six-yard box. Jaaskelainen punches clear and Ki volleys left-footed and high over the top. The physio is on quickly for Collins, who is clutching his head, but the big man looks OK as he gets to his feet. Goal kick.
6: Sunderland have a corner. Altidore springs the offside trap and is in on goal. He shoots low towards the far corner and Jaaskelainen gets a touch to help the ball around the post for a corner.
5: Diame again, running down the left and cutting onto his right foot. Maiga rises above his man at the far stick and heads back across goal. Unfortunately, the ball just bounces away from Jarvis and behind for a goal kick.
4: Diame does superbly, running 50 yards from inside his own half and holding off Celustka. Brown dives in and distracts Maiga enough for the No11 to fire his shot high and wide.
3: Sunderland have the first shot and it's from the South Korean Kim, who tries to curl one in from the left edge of the box. Jaaskelainen dives low to his near post to collect.
2: As suggested, West Ham are 4-3-3 and Sunderland are playing 4-2-3-1 with Altidore up front on his own.
1: Jaaskelainen launches a ball long and Maiga wins another header - he is superb in the air - but it bounces away from Jarvis and away for a goal kick.
3pm - We're off...
2.59pm - We've had the handshakes and photographs and now we're counting down the seconds until kick-off. Sunderland will get us underway...
2.55pm - 'Bubbles' starts to play and the two teams emerge from the tunnel led by captains O'Shea and Noble. Joining the mascot corps today are Freddie and Kalie, who are here today as part of the Club's 'Like My Dreams' initiative. We hope they enjoy a fantastic day here at the Boleyn Ground.
2.50pm - Now we've got the Moose chatting to Stewart Downing, who was voted Player of the Month for November. Downing says he is enjoying life in east London and cannot wait to recover from his ankle injury. I have seen a photo of his ankle taken at half-time at Anfield and it did look a bit nasty. Hopefully, now he's been stitched up, it won't be long. Moose completes a team read-out and now he's heading back up to the Press Box to resume radio presenting duties.
2.47pm - We've had some top-class pre-match entertainment today in the shape of a brass band and now a choir comprising Year Four pupils from St. Edward's Catholic Primary School in Upton Park. The children get a nice round of applause as they finish their mini-concert.
2.40pm - The two teams are out warming-up on the pitch under grey and threatening skies. It's all a far cry from the sunshine and bright blue skies overhead a few hours back. If we get a repeat of the entertainment the fans have enjoyed at Manchester City this afternoon, we'll be doing OK!
2.22pm - So, it's 4-3-3 as usual for Big Sam, with Morrison presumably taking over the Kevin Nolan role as the most advanced of the three central midfielders. For Sunderland, after using two strikers last weekend against Spurs, Gus Poyet has reverted to one up front. It is perhaps surprising to see both Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson named among the substitutes rather than in the starting XI. Sunderland will go 4-2-3-1, with Cattermole and Ki shielding the back four, Bardsley at left-back and Altidore up front on his own.gh
2.20pm - You can now download today's Official Teamsheet by clicking on the link above. There is also still plenty of time to download today's Official Programme for just £1.99 for your tablet or smartphone.
2.10pm - The team news has been confirmed. West Ham make two enforced changes, with the suspended Nolan and injured Downing replaced by Morrison and Joe Cole. Three changes for Sunderland as Cattermole, Giaccherini and Borini return in place of Johnson, Fletcher and Colback.
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, McCartney, Collins, Tomkins, Noble (c), Diame, Morrison, Jarvis, J.Cole, Maiga
Subs: Adrian, Rat, Collison, Taylor, O'Brien, Diarra, C.Cole
Sunderland: Mannone, Celustka, Bardsley, Brown, O'Shea (c), Ki, Cattermole, Larsson, Giaccherini, Borini, Altidore
Subs: Pickford, Dossena, Cabral, Gardner, Fletcher, Johnson, Roberge
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Good afternoon and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for today's vital Barclays Premier League fixture between West Ham United and Sunderland.
Let's cut to the chase - this is a huge game! West Ham go into it 17th in the table, above the bottom three on goal difference only, while Sunderland are bottom after collecting just eight points from their opening 15 matches. A win today and the Hammers would go eight points clear of the Black Cats.
West Ham won on home turf last time out, dismissing Fulham 3-0 a fortnight ago, while Sunderland have struggled on their travels, scoring just twice and picking up just two points from seven away matches played.
Both teams have lost their last two matches - West Ham at Crystal Palace and Liverpool and Sunderland at home to Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur - so managers Sam Allardyce and Gus Poyet will be hoping for a change in fortune this afternoon.
Team news-wise, West Ham have a number of important players absent. Captain Kevin Nolan is suspended and starts a three-match ban after being sent-off at Liverpool last weekend, while Andy Carroll (foot), Stewart Downing (ankle), Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder), Winston Reid (ankle) and Mladen Petric (calf) are also out.
For Sunderland, goalkeeper Keiren Westwood (shoulder) and defender Carlos Cuellar (hip) are out.
We will have the team news for you at 2pm and will publish the Official Teamsheet on this page a short time later. In the meantime, why not enter one of our matchday competitions on Twitter - #WHULINEUP or #WHUGOAL - you could win a signed prize!