A former loanee on Wearside, Downing has been one of the stars of the Hammers season, producing some impressive displays in the number 10 position and becoming one of the most creative players in the Premier League. His conversion from a winger to a central attacking force has been vital in Sam Allardyce’s success in East London, and he will be looking to continue his fine form against the Black Cats.
The situation on Wearside is as far removed from West Ham’s season as possible, with just one point between them and the relegation places, and a recent manager change thrown into the mix. The Black Cats will be hoping that their recent appointment of Dick Advocaat has an immediate impact, and they head to the Hammers during something of a slump for the East London club.
Despite the poor form of Sunderland at this moment in time, they will offer a serious threat to West Ham as they look to impress their new manager. On their day, they possess some of the best players in the entire division, and Downing has highlighted two specific stars that could prove vital for the Black Cats.
Downing also admitted that Sunderland’s loss of Adam Johnson is massive for them, with the winger being their ‘best player’.
He added: “They’re missing Adam Johnson obviously which is a big boost for us because he’s probably their best player.”