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Sunderland v West Ham: Don’t bank on another Black Cats shutout

| 12.12.2014

They may have only picked up two points from their last three games, but Sunderland’s recent form isn’t as bad as it may initially come across.

In keeping both Chelsea and Liverpool to goalless draws the Black Cats have picked up a couple of very respectable points.

They are 13/8 to go one better when West Ham visit the Stadium of Light, with the draw at 23/10, or it’s 7/4 for the high-flying Hammers to leave with a win.

Here’s what we see as the three best bets to have…

West Ham to win @ 7/4

While there is no crabbing Sunderland’s recent form, Gus Poyet set up for a point against ‘bigger’ clubs and get their wish in recent outings, but they’ll probably change their approach here.

And despite Sam Allardyce’s men flying high in fourth, Gus Poyet may look to open things up a bit, but that could be their downfall.

West Ham have picked up more points on the road than Sunderland have on their own patch this season, and have now won three in a row home and away.

With plenty of options in attack, the Hammers look a nice price to make it four on the bounce.

Race to two goals: West Ham @ 2/1

Part of Sunderland’s problem this campaign has been their inability to convert draws into wins. They have shared the spoils nine times this season, at least twice more than all other Premier League clubs.

They have struggled in front of goal of late, bagging just five times in their last eight games, so reaching two goals might be beyond them.

In contrast, the Irons can’t stop scoring in 2014-15. They’ve netted twice or more on nine occasions already, five times on the road.

Expect the hosts’ defence to really be put to the test in the north east.

Andy Carroll to score anytime @ 11/5 

His performance against Swansea was a joy to watch, and it is clear to see that Andy Carroll is geared up to deliver the football of his life.

Two goals against the Welsh side capped a brilliant all-round performance, and he is fancied to continue that scoring form.

With his Newcastle connections there’s probably nothing more that the big man would like to do than send home thousands of Mackem fans unhappy, and should backed to get on the scoresheet.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.