Sunderland v West Ham: Irons goal-shy on the road

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Sunderland’s next four Premier League games could go a long way in determining how their season is going to pan out.

West Ham are the first opponents of a four-game stint that also sees the Black Cats take on Wigan, Swansea and Reading and should a decent points haul ensue any lingering relegation worries will be dispelled. A few defeats, on the other hand, and the trapdoor concerns of old will come flooding back.

A price of 5/4 says they’ll get this crucial spell underway with a win and it looks an excellent price.

The Hammers have only enjoyed one Premier League win on Wearside since 2002, while they have managed just a solitary goal on their travels since their previous visit to the north east, which ended in a 1-0 triumph at Newcastle four games ago.

An inability to find the back of the net will hinder your chances of winning any football match, so the east Londoners’ 11/5 to emerge from the Stadium of Light victorious should be left alone. In stark contrast, the 2/1 on offer for Sunderland to keep a clean sheet in front of their own fans has to come in for some serious consideration.

Martin O’Neill’s men have enjoyed three shut outs in their previous five home games with Manchester City among the trio of clubs who failed to get the better of the Black Cats’ back four.

They’ve also taken the lead in each of their previous three home ties, while West Ham have allowed the opposition to get their noses in front in three of their last four. Sunderland breaking the deadlock has to be fancied judging from these stats and the 5/6 that says they will is well worth a punt.

West Ham may be struggling for goals away from home, but if you only had one adjective to describe Sunderland this term, ‘prolific’ would not be a wise choice. They have only scored more than once four times in the Premier League this season which should see punters diverted towards the total result market in search of the best bet on this match.

A very enticing 10/3 says the home team will be celebrating three points in a game that produces fewer than 2.5 goals.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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