West Ham will head for Sunderland with a major injury/suspension crisis on their hands.
Despite many believing this is the game from which they could and perhaps should secure total safety, the absentee list is horrific.
And with James Collins having issued a cry for nobody to hide behind Slav, this game may well become an acute character test for the team which takes the pitch at the Stadium of Light.
Michail Antonio’s departure was a major blow and there is no return date given from the hamstring injury which saw him leave the action.
Andy Carroll – despite being on the bench as an unused sub -d is still complaining of a sore groin although Diafra Sakho should have recovered sufficiently from the wear and tear plus bumps and bruises of his first outing since November against Arsenal to be involved.
Aaron Cresswell should be okay but given Arthur Masuaku’s level of performance is unlikely to be in the starting X1 whilst Angelo Ogbonna won’t be back until next month the earliest, Winston Reid (groin) is out for another three weeks and Pedro Obiang will return next season.
Add to that mark Noble’s two match suspension and the Irons season of frustration and anxiety looks set to go right down to the wire.
So we have Antonio and Noble out and Carroll , Sakho and Cresswell all likely to be fit. It would seem to me that the situation is getting better but another good non story!
I do not see much of a problem Fernandez instead of Noble Sako for first half then Carroll or Calleri, admittedly not my first choice but he runs around and puts In a shift but just cannot score ( missed another sitter against Swansea ). The team should be strong enough to beat Sunderland if not then they do not deserve to be in the PL.
We still have Randolph, Adrian, Byram, Fonte, Collins, Masuaku, Snodgrass, Feghouli, Kouyate, Fernandes, Lanzini, Sakho, Calleri, Fletcher, Nordveit, maybe Carroll, maybe Cresswell. Enough there for a decent team eh? Some of them owe us a good game too.
I know some will probably find what I have to say next as astounding, but who really gives a ****e anyway? Our season was finished the moment we lost 5-0 to Man City. We may have been able to have won a Europa League place if it hadn’t been for Payet’s tantrums & dramas, but look, I cannot see where Swansea, on 28 points, next win is coming from. I can see Hull, on 30 points beating Sunderland and going onto 33points. I cannot see where Middlesborough on 24 points next win is coming from. I can see last placed Sunderland beating Middlesborough, Bournemouth beating & Swansea & getting to 29, so the 3 teams I’m tipping to go down are Middlesborough (around 24 pts & 20th), Swansea (around 28 pts & 19th) & Sunderland getting around 29 points & 18th with the relegation margin being no more than 29-30 points although Hull & Palace still have a little work to do I can’t see anyone who currently sits on 35 pts & up having any problems, and did people really check out the body language of Jermain Defoe yesterday? He knows that no matter how hard they play these last few games, that Sunderland are not going to pick up 10 points or 4 wins out 7 games they need to catch Hull or whoever it is that finishes 17th. Defoe did have another amazing season, and has more left in him yet, but even he knows it’s all over for Sunderland, so do their fans, and we should really be trying to have some quite discussions with him on Saturday or soon, to see if he’ll come back to us next season, as he definitely won’t stay in the championship with Sunderland next year. Yes, lets have Jermain back, even if it is only for 1 season! At least we’ll have someone who can score a few goals!
I don’t think we will actually have to get 40pts although as fans we deserve to be put out of our misery- we have suffered enough this year! If we scraped one draw-37pts- Swansea would need to get another 10pts from 6. Mind you that is possible. They can still lose two & either win 4 or win 3 & draw 1. It is in our hands isn’t it.
Mitchy and jermane next season with sakho and fletcher should be ok for me carrol sold so won’t be even costing a fortune for the tightwads on the board either imo
Either Fernandes or Nordveidt can replace Noble, Sunderland look like they have given up the ghost but its important to expect the very best they have, this really is their last roll of the dice, I would put our strongest passing side out, Defoe in theory will want to play well against us because it is his best chance of securing a move both parties want and for him to get the salary he wants, the rest of the Sunderland team look low on confidence so just holding onto the ball could be enough. I hope Callieri gets another shot up top maybe with Carroll, then midfield of Snodgrass, Lanzini Kouyate and Fernandes, Byram, Collins, Fonte, Masuaku and Randolph in goal (only because he is slightly more predictable than Adrian).
Saw them against Man U, and they were down to ten most of the time. The sending off they will get rescinded on appeal & they have some decent players coming back now. I would be happy with a draw but cheesed off with a defeat. Really ought to be able to get a point.
Byram also injured. A draw will definitely be good! If you were Sunderland & you had not scored for 7 games or whatever it is who would you want to be playing…
I’m with you there mate, we would be my choice of team to face at home to get some goals on the board. Defoe imho will be looking forward to this game, we have bigger gaps than at Watford in our defence.