Risky Slaven Bilic decision could prove to be bad news for desperate Sunderland

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic before the match

West Ham United travel to basement side Sunderland on Saturday in what is a vital game for both sides.

West Ham United manager Slaven BilicWest Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

The Hammers need one more win to more or less guarantee Premier League survival after a torrid second season under Slaven Bilic.

How the Black Cats would love to be in the same position. Instead David Moyes' side know they must win the majority of their remaining seven games to have any hope of staying up.

Ravaged by injuries, Bilic will have to patch together a side for the game at the Stadium of Light.

But a risky decision he made in the 1-0 victory over Swansea City last time out could be very bad news for Sunderland.

Going into the must-win game against the Swans Bilic elected to leave strike pair Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho on the bench.

Sakho is working his way back from almost a year out of action - bar some minutes during his ill-fated comeback in November - while Carroll has nursing a sore groin.

Both could have been used against Swansea had they been needed but Bilic's side managed to get through the game without doing so which means at least one if not both could feature against Moyes' strugglers.

West Ham United's Diafra Sakho comes on as a substitute to replace Andy CarrollSakho and Carroll should both be fit to face Sunderland

Sakho is reportedly champing at the bit to start and Bilic has had to hold him back for his own good.

And another week of treatment on Carroll's groin should mean he is fit to at least make the bench again if not start. 

The big former Newcastle United star has a good record against his boyhood club's hated rivals and Carroll will undoubtedly be keen to be involved.

With Michail Antonio injured it will be a major boost for the Hammers and worrying for Sunderland who already have enough to worry about.

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