West Ham's on-loan striker Andy Carroll has returned to light training after a hamstring injury, but will not be in contention. Carlton Cole and Mali forward Modibo Maiga will be looking to lead the attack for the Hammers, who have no fresh injury concerns. Midfielder Matt Jarvis, signed from Wolves, could make his home debut after a substitute appearance in last week's goalless draw at Norwich, but Jack Collison (knee) remains sidelined.
Sunderland winger Adam Johnson is likely to miss out as he struggles to shake off a thigh injury. The 25-year-old sat out England's World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine with the problem and was also absent for last Saturday's 1-1 draw against Liverpool. Defender Carlos Cuellar (hamstring) is out while Phil Bardsley (ankle) and Wes Brown (knee) are making good progress but are still short of match fitness.
Sam Allardyce: "Everybody is buzzing about the free-scoring nature of Arsenal yet Sunderland managed to get a 0-0 draw. Then, against Swansea they took the lead twice and knowing Martin as I do he will have felt disappointed not to win the game. I know what to expect from Sunderland having studied those two games and also from knowing Martin and the way he structures his teams. We have to make sure we are capable of breaking them down and ensure that when we create opportunities, we take them."
Martin O'Neill: “Sam is a very experienced manager with a tried and tested set of methods that have proven successful for him. When he went to West Ham United and they were in the Championship, you always felt that they were likely then to get out of the division because of his appointment. It is a very, very hard division to get out of but he managed to get them out of it at the first attempt last season. And now he is back in the Premier League, you have to say that you expect West Ham to stay in this division this season because he’s there.”
A win for Sunderland at Upton Park in May 2011 ended a run of six wins in a row for the Hammers against the Black Cats on home soil in the top flight.
If the Hammers keep a clean sheet they will equal their best run of three home shut outs from the start of a Premier League season.
Sunderland have won none of their last nine Premier League away games (W0 D5 L4).
Sunderland have averaged five shots per game this season, fewer than any other team in the top flight.
Steven Fletcher has scored three goals from three shots on target for the Black Cats.
All seven of the goals netted by Sunderland and West Ham in the Premier League this season have been scored in the first half of games.
Sunderland are the only team in the Premier League without a header on target in the Premier League this season.
West Ham have conceded more fouls than any other team in the top flight this seasons (62).
Sam Allardyce has a record of three wins and just one defeat in five Premier League matches as a coach against Martin O’Neill.
Martin O’Neill has seen his teams enjoy just one win at Upton Park in the Premier League (Aston Villa December 2008) (W1 D2 L5).
West Ham 11/10, Sunderland 13/5, Draw 23/10.