West Ham's 4-1 defeat at Liverpool at the weekend leaves them just five points above the Black Cats, who are bottom of the Premier League.
Fulham’s win at home to Aston Villa yesterday means the Cottagers are level on points with their London neighbours while Crystal Palace stoked up the pressure with a second successive win for new manager Tony Pulis when they beat Cardiff City at Selhurst Park.
Allardyce has been unfortunate that Andy Carroll has missed the entire season through injury and the West Ham board are prepared to shell out of a new striker in the January transfer window.
But Big Sam may not be the man given the cash to spend if the East End club are in the bottom three at the turn of the year.
They have won just once since a 3-0 victory at Tottenham in October.
Allardyce’s cause has not been helped by an injury at Anfield to winger Stewart Downing while captain Kevin Nolan got a straight red card, which keeps him out of the Mackem match.
West Ham fear being relegated by sticking with a leader who cannot save a sinking ship - having done just that when they remained loyal to Avram Grant during the 2010/211 campaign.
Saturday December 14
12:45 Manchester City v Arsenal
15:00 Cardiff City v West Brom
15:00 Chelsea v Crystal Palace
15:00 Everton v Fulham
15:00 Newcastle United v Southampton
15:00 West Ham United v Sunderland
17:30 Hull City v Stoke City
Sunday December 15
13:30 Aston Villa v Man Utd
13:30 Norwich City v Swansea City
16:0 Tottenham v Liverpool