Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughStatistical Preview: West Ham vs Sunderland - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Statistical Preview: West Ham vs Sunderland - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Statistical Preview: West Ham vs Sunderland

Manager Sam Allardyce has bemoaned his team’s lack of luck in recent weeks as the Hammers continue their unfortunate slide down the table. They host Sunderland in a game that can only be described as a ‘relegation six-pointer’.

If West Ham are to pull away from the relegation battle they will need their more senior players to use all of their experience, lead from the front and stand up and be counted. Although he was on the wrong side of a 4-1 defeat the weekend, James Collins certainly showed his commitment to the cause and his fantastic tackling ability, as he was successful in 5 of the 7 challenges he attempted.

Manager Sam Allardyce will have been frustrated by side’s inability to hold onto the ball on Saturday, as they only managed 36% of possession against Liverpool. One player who remained assured when the ball was at his feet was central midfielder Mark Noble. The academy graduate has been a bright spark in an otherwise disappointing season for the Hammers, showcasing his outstanding passing ability time and time again. This ability was evident again on Saturday as he completed an impressive 21 passes in the opposition half – this was 10 more than any of his teammates.

West Ham fans have been critical of skipper Kevin Nolan’s performances recently and their frustration will have been compounded by the skipper’s reckless challenge on Saturday that fully warranted the red card shown. The former Newcastle man, however, can point to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index when justifying his continued inclusion in the team, as it shows that he has made 4 goalscoring contributions (based on goals and assists). This may not sound much, but only Ravel Morrison has made more (5) in the West Ham squad.

Carlton Cole has been working hard to get his match fitness up to the required level to ensure he can start games from the off, and West Ham fans will be hoping that he can be up and running in no time at all, due to his ability to hit the target. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that Carlton Cole has forced the keeper into making a save with every shot that he has had.

Despite taking the lead against Spurs, Sunderland succumbed to a 2-1 loss to leave them rooted to the bottom of the table.

Steven Fletcher will be integral to the Black Cats’ hopes of staying in the division, as he is undoubtedly a match winner. Unusually, considering his exceptionally high standards, his shooting was slightly wayward on Saturday as he failed to hit the target with any of the shots that he attempted.

Sebastien Larsson will be another player that Gus Poyet will look to rely on this season when identifying which players will lead the fight against relegation. The Swede is an established international, racking up over 60 caps and he has been a consistent performer for Sunderland over the last couple of seasons. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he was an impressive performer on Saturday, as he made a total of 25 attacking contributions (based on crosses, passes in the opposition half, dribbles and shots). This was more than any other Sunderland player. Larsson is 6/1 with to score at anytime on Saturday.

Phillip Bardsley has undergone something of a rejuvenation since Gus Poyet brought him back into the first team, and has been arguably their standout player in this period. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights how effective he has been, as it shows that he has attempted 31 challenges and won 27 of them.

Adam Johnson scored the opening goal on Saturday to open his account for the season. This is a disappointing statistic for such a talented player, but fortunately for Sunderland, the Middleborough-born man has been excelling in other offensive areas as he has made 238 attacking contributions this term – more than any other Sunderland player.