Michail Antonio's strike allows scrappy West Ham to see off wasteful Sunderland

Michail Antonio's strike allows scrappy West Ham to see off wasteful Sunderland
West Ham United
1 0
West Ham United: (4-2-3-1): Adrian; Byram, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble (Obiang 82'), Kouyate; Lanzini (Moses 65'), Payet, Antonio; Emenike (Carroll 59').
Sunderland: (4-1-4-1): Mannone; Yedlin, Kone, O'Shea, van Aanholt; Kirchoff; N'Doye, Cattermole (Rodwell 65'), M'Vila, Khazri; Defoe.
SCORE: 1-0, Antonio 30'.
REFEREE: Mike Dean. Booked: Byram 71'.
INCIDENTS: Premier League match between West Ham United and Sunderland. The match was played at Upton Park, London.

That's all from me though. Thanks for choosing to follow today's game with VAVEL and stick out for our report of the match, as well as the rest of our Premier League coverage this weekend!

West Ham climb into fifth in the standings, ahead of the rest of the weekend's games, whilst Sunderland remain in the bottom three, missing the chance to move out of it with a point.

Full time. Sunderland had their chances but it's West Ham who take all three points, courtesy of Michail Antonio's first half strike.

90 - M'Vila lifts the ball into the box but Khazri just can't meet it. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that there will be three minutes of added time.

85 - Khazri's delivery is defended by Carroll, who heads it behind for a corner. Decent delivery but no one is at the back post to reach it and it's out for a goal-kick. 

84 - Cresswell fouls N'Doye and Sunderland have the chance to get the ball into the box again.

83 - Some scrappy play ends with the ball falling to Payet, who volleys just wide.

82 - West Ham make their final change of the day as Noble is replaced, handing Collins the armband, by Obiang. Sunderland still have two changes they can make.

80 - More chances for Sunderland! N'Doye's cross-cum-shot is saved, Khazri lifts the loose ball in and Rodwell's header loops into Adrian's arms!

79 - The resulting corner sees O'Shea head into the sidenetting.

78 - Rodwell again involved as he misses the target! He leads the break and ends up on the end of the final ball, but Byram makes a super tackle to deny him!

77 - Crossbar! Carroll smashes the ball against the woodwork on the volley and Sunderland scramble it clear! No telling which way this could go yet.

74 - Goal disallowed! Rodwell meets a low cross well and is denied brilliantly by Adrian. He then smashes in the follow up, but only after the ball has bounced up against his arm and the referee has given a free-kick the other way!

71 - First yellow card of the day goes to Byram as he bundles Defoe over just outside the box. Free-kick is about 20 yards out and Khazri takes, but it's right at Adrian.

69 - And another chance as Moses cuts inside and fires goalwards, but it's a tame effort that Mannone gets down to hold with relative ease.

68 - Chance for West Ham to double their lead but Payet blazes over amidst handball penalty claims against O'Shea - the ball clearly hits his stomach, however.

65 - West Ham's second sub of the day sees Moses replace Lanzini. Meanwhile, Sunderland make their first as Cattermole comes off and Rodwell comes on.

64 - M'Vila loses the ball to Antonio, but does brilliantly to make amends as he chases back and shields the ball out for a goal kick.

60 - Best bit of football Sunderland have played all day ends with M'Vila bending a shot from range just a couple of yards wide of teh post.

59 - Emenike off for West Ham as Andy Carroll makes his return from injury.

58 - Free-kick in a good position for Sunderland - N'Doye hits it into the wall though and it's a throw for the visitors deep into West Ham's half.

55 - Van Aanholt and Khazri link up well to get into the box, but the former blazes the ball over the bar when he gets the chance to pull the trigger.

53 - Khazri whips the ball into the box, but it's overhit and Adrian can watch it out for a goal kick.

49 - And again! Defoe links up with Khazri this time, who picks him out in the box, but he fires wide once more! The offside flag goes up, but it's wrongly up and saves his blushes.

47 - Chance! Defoe races through on goal but lashes his half volley well wide! He should score!

And we're back underway for the second half!

Half time! Van Aanholt's mistake and Antonio's strike separate the two. A familiar tale for the hosts, who have committed too many individual errors this season.

45 - There will be one minute of added time.

43 - Sunderland ending the half well, albeit without a real chance to equalise yet.

39 - Free kick for Sunderland as Byram blocks off N'Doye. It's taken quickly but blocked and now they have a corner.

38 - Antonio with another effort from distance, but Mannone gets across to save this one. Corner.

Poor defending from van Aanholt leads to the goal, with him not clearing his lines and allowing West Ham to get in behind. Antonio's finish, however, was superb as he bends the ball into the bottom corner.

GOAL! Antonio breaks the deadlock on the half hour mark and West Ham take the lead!

23 - BAR! Emenike pushes over Kirchhoff and Sunderland have a free-kick just outside the box. Khazri readies to whip it in, but tries to catch Adrian out by going to goal, and it hits the top of the bar!

21 - Another poor corner from Khazri hits the sidenetting - but he's pressing well again and blocks Adrian's clearance. N'Doye recovers the loose ball and tries to pick out Cattermole, but West Ham get away with it and it's a throw deep in their half.

19 - CROSSBAR! Great advantage by Mike Dean, who lets two fouls on Lanzini go before he tees up Noble to strike, and Mannone gets the slightest of touches as it crashes against the bar!

16 - Nearly again! Defoe is threaded in by Cattermole but the flag goes up as Adrian saves. He was definitely on...

9 - Nearly... Kirchhoff stabs the ball through for Defoe, but it runs away from him and through to Adrian. 

8 - West Ham probing away and they pick out Cresswell on the charge, but he loses control of the ball as he cuts in and can't make anything of it.

5 - Khazri defending this time and his block gives West Ham a corner. It falls to Kouyate, who struggles to get it under control, and then Payet is dispossessed as he tries to put the ball back into the box. Another corner.

3 - Khazri's set pieces deliveries were so dangerous in the win over Manchester United, but both of those failed to beat the first man. However, his persistence to win the ball back on the right almost posed some problems, only for the low cross to be cleared.

2 - Early corner for Sunderland. Khazri takes, Ogbonna heads clear, and we've got another corner.

And we're off!

Sunderland XI: Mannone; Yedlin, Kone, O'Shea, van Aanholt; Kirchoff; N'Doye, Cattermole, M'Vila, Khazri; Defoe.

West Ham XI: Adrian; Byram, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Kouyate, Lanzini, Payet, Antonio; Emenike.

Sunderland predicted XI (4-1-4-1): Mannone; Yedlin, Kone, O'Shea, van Aanholt; Kirchhoff; N'Doye, Cattermole, M'Vila, Khazri; Defoe.

West Ham predicted XI (4-3-3): Adrian; Byram, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Song, Obiang; Antonio, Valencia, Payet.

As for Sunderland, they are not expected to make changes either with Kirchhoff returning, despite Jack Rodwell impressing off the bench against the Red Devils. Yedlin should keep his place ahead of the returning Jones, whilst a lack of wide options means Dame N'Doye is likely to continue in an unnatural right-sided role. 

Whether Carroll will get a starting berth, however, is uncertain. Enner Valencia has been leading the line as of late, with Michail Antonio and Payet either side of him in a front three. Emmanuel Emenike will have put his name in the manager's thoughts too, having scored twice against Blackburn last week. All things considered, it's unlikely that we will see changes made to the team that drew with Norwich two weeks ago.

One positive, nonetheless, is the return of Andy Carroll, who Allardyce was rumoured to be interested in bringing to the Stadium of Light once he secured his own move there. The former Newcastle United striker has seen his season plagued with injuries, but could provide Lamine Kone and John O'Shea with a good physical test today.

West Ham, on the other hand, remain without Joey O'Brien, James Tomkins and Jenkinson, whose returns are still a long way off. Winston Reid and Diafra Sakho both returned to training this week, but Bilic this week said that the latter won't be fit for this game whilst the former is unlikely to make it.

Jan Kirchhoff is back though and Billy Jones has had time off to recover from a hip injury, so will return for this fixture. Whether or not the latter will be back in the team, however, is a different story. The right-back had come under heavy fire from the fans and media alike prior to missing the United game, and so could be kept out of the side by DeAndre Yedlin.

Allardyce heads down to London without a few players, albeit none of them are fresh concerns. Duncan Watmore is still suffering with an ankle problem, whilst Sebastian Larsson remains out despite having been expected to return last month. Lens is also still out, but could return next weekend to face Southampton after undergoing surgery.

Will Sam Allardyce's return to Upton Park be a happy one? | Photo: Getty
Will Sam Allardyce's return to Upton Park be a happy one? | Photo: Getty

This link has dominated the pre-match build-up this week, with Allardyce having a dig at West Ham's fans whilst praising Sunderland's, whereas Slaven Bilic and owner David Sullivan are hoping the Sunderland boss gets a warm reception at Upton Park. It will certainly be interesting to see how the home fans respond to the return of their former boss, but there are no doubts that he will want to avenge what he feels was poor treatment that he received - particularly from the fans - whilst with the Hammers.

That game took place when Sunderland were under Dick Advocaat's charge, however, and Sam Allardyce will be hoping for much better composure as he returns to face his former employers. The West Ham job was Allardyce's last before he joined the Black Cats, and he will be hoping for a happy return to London this weekend, with three points ready to be wrapped up and taken back to the North East.

These two couldn't be separated in the reverse fixture back in October, with the final score reading 2-2. Sunderland came out of the blocks firing in that game and were 2-0 up inside 22 minutes, but collapsed in the second half. Carl Jenkinson's goal on the stroke of half time meant the Hammers halved the deficit ahead of the restart, and a red card for Jeremain Lens just before the hour paved the way for an equaliser, with Dimitri Payet able to grab it three minutes later.

It's been five years since Sunderland won at Upton Park, emphatically dispatching their opponents 3-0 back in May 2011, but they have made things difficult for the Hammers on their home patch since then, holding them to 1-1 and goalless draws before losing 1-0 here last season.

The head-to-head is not in the visitors' favour either. Although both are tied at 26 wins apiece in their 72 meetings, West Ham have enjoyed this fixture much more than the Wearsiders in recent times. Just three of their last 14 encounters with the Black Cats have ended in defeat, and they will not expect it to today either.

West Ham's recent form, as well as their superior position in the standings, makes them overwhelming favourites for this game - especially when compared to the Black Cats'. That win over United for the latter was their first in five, whereas the Hammers have lost just one of their last seven. Their latest win was a very emphatic one, coming in the form of a 5-1 result over Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup. It certainly lifted the spirits after a draw with Norwich the week before too.

Whether the Sunderland team that beat Stoke or the one that lost to Spurs will come out today is one of the big questions, as the Black Cats have blown hot and cold in their relegation scrap this season. Last time out, they certainly blew hot in their best performance of the season, beating Manchester United 2-1, nonetheless most of the season has seen the opposite occur - explaining their dire situation.

Sunderland's two games under Dean, however, have ended in one win and one defeat. The former was a 2-0 victory at home to Stoke City, where Dean controversially dismissed the Potters' captain Ryan Shawcross, whilst the latter was a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.

Mike Dean is today's official, a man with a wealth of experience in the Premier League and at the very top level. This is the third time he will be meeting both these teams this season in the league, having refereed each twice already. His two games in charge of West Ham ended in draws; the first seeing the Hammers held 2-2 by Norwich City and the second a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, with them having struggled against some of the teams at the wrong end of the standings.

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live coverage of this afternoon's Premier League fixture between West Ham United and Sunderland. My name is Ameé Ruszkai and I'll be taking you through events as they unfold at Upton Park in today's lunchtime game - with kick-off scheduled for 12:45 GMT.