Friday, March 20

Hamstrings, shoulders, knees and toes (and that's just West Ham's injury list)

Well, the good news is that Carl Jenkinson will be able to play against Sunderland and Carlton Cole is fit again. Not so good is the fact that James Tomkins has had an operation on his dislocated shoulder and will be out for several weeks, Enner Valencia is still recovering from his teacup-induced toe injury and Winston Reid is out along with Andy Carroll. Even Doneil Henry has managed to get injured while on loan at Blackburn.

So it looks like Kouyate and Ginger Pele will be our centre backs again. Allardyce should surely give Amalfitano a game as at least he's fresh after his suspension. The options would be a five man midfield of Amalfitano, Nolan, Song, Noble and Downing with Sakho alone up front, or playing Cole and Sakho together and dropping a midfielder. Plus there's always the enigma that is Matt Jarvis. He created two of our best chances against Arsenal but also blazed over a good chance and in the second half consistently crossed straight at defenders again. He's great at finding the space to get crosses in, yet always seems to hit the first defender. At £9 million we've yet to see his proper value and it looks like he'll move on in the summer.

As for Sunderland, we have to assume Jermain Defoe will get his usual rousing reception and score, so we'll need at least two. After that at least the international break will give WHU time to get some players fit. On a more positive note I'm taking my elder daughter who has only seen West Ham lose three times in 33 home games and whose last game was the 3-1 destruction of Liverpool. Let's hope she brings us some luck and a much-needed three points.

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