Football

West Ham United Vs Sunderland, Sat 10 Apr 2010

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West Ham will be without suspended midfield talisman Scott Parker for tomorrow's Barclays Premier League clash with Sunderland.

But boss Gianfranco Zola is expected to have Valon Behrami available after he was injured in the warm-up ahead of last weekend's draw at Everton.

Guillermo Franco and Alessandro Diamanti are also set to be available as the Hammers aim to take another step towards top-flight safety.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has a series of injury concerns.

Skipper Lorik Cana is a doubt with a groin problem, while central defender Michael Turner is struggling with a combination of hamstring and tendon injuries.

Midfielder Andy Reid's season could be over as a result of a calf problem, while John Mensah and George McCartney (both hamstring) are still out.

However, Alan Hutton (groin) was expected to train on Friday and could have a chance of making the squad.

Sunderland head south knowing victory - which would be just their second of the season away from home and their first since the opening day - would mathematically assure them of their place in next season's Premier League.

Bruce said: "We are there if we win tomorrow, we are mathematically there, so that's got to be the aim, to finish the season off strongly.

"Can we catch Fulham, Stoke, Blackburn? That's the aim, to try to catch those three."

But planning for the new season is already under way with Bruce drawing up his list of targets and attempting to secure the futures of youngsters Jordan Henderson and David Meyler, as well as 33-year-old Dutchman Bolo Zenden, who has been offered another year's contract.

The manager said: "We are in contract negotiations with Henderson and Meyler as a reward for what they have done, particularly Meyler, who has come from nowhere really.

"Bolo, I will leave it up to him. I want him to stay. The way he has helped the young players - and we have got some exceptionally good young players, including the two on loan, [Jack] Colback and [Martyn] Waghorn, who are getting rave reviews from their respective clubs [Ipswich and Leicester], so that bodes well.

"But Bolo has been particularly helpful in that respect. He has been the ultimate pro, and you can see why he has played for Marseille and Barcelona and Chelsea and Liverpool.

"He is an exceptional talent. I have used him as an impact player and typical Bolo, he wants to play more, which I can understand.

"I will just leave the whole situation up to Bolo. He knows there's an offer there for him: if he wants it, fine; if he wants to try elsewhere, then I can understand that as well."

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Topics:
Sunderland
Football
Premier League

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