Sunderland will attempt to build on their improved run of form - they have lost just one of their last seven games and are all but mathematically safe - and deepen the Hammers' woes.
Bent told the Sunderland Echo: "We have been coming flying out of the blocks in the last few games and we have to make sure we do that on Saturday.
"But their crowd can turn very quickly, so if we can start well and hopefully get in front, we can make it difficult.
"The good thing is that West Ham and any Zola side will want to play football. It's not like we're going to a Stoke or Blackburn where there's not really much football.
"It should be a very good game."