Leicester’s 2-2 draw with West Brom on Tuesday night has given Tottenham the chance to go top of the Premier League table, as the side from north London prepare to face a trip to London rivals West Ham on Wednesday night.
Tottenham are now three points behind league leaders Leicester and three points ahead of arch-rivals Arsenal in the title race.
Difficult game for Pochettino’s men
A trip to the Boleyn Ground represents a big challenge for the title contenders. The Hammers have not suffered a Premier League home defeat in 11 games. Slaven Bilic’s side will certainly be no pushovers, as they are aiming for a top-six finish at least this season after a strong debut campaign under Bilic.
The Boleyn Ground is a difficult place to visit and it would be fitting if Bilic’s team could remain unbeaten until the end of the campaign in the grand old ground’s swansong. One thing is for sure Spurs cannot take West Ham likely.
French international playmaker Dimitri Payet has been one of the signings of the season. Winger Michail Antonio has hit form as well after joining the club from Championship Nottingham Forest in the summer.
Tottenham have not looked as defensively assured without Belgian centre-back Jan Vertonghen alongside compatriot Toby Alderweireld. The pair have formed the foundation of Spurs good run of form this season.
Vertonghen’s deputy Kevin Wimmer has put in some decent displays in Vertonghen’s absence through injury, but the Austrian has not quite got the same understanding with Alderweireld as Vertonghen.
That understanding could be the difference between success and failure in the next few weeks for Tottenham.
A developing team
Mauricio Pochettino has built a very capable young team at Spurs. I doubt he believed they would be challenging for the title so early in his reign, but they are now in a great position to win the title this season.
Spurs as a team are a relatively young team. Two of their key players Harry Kane and Dele Alli are only 22 and 19 respectably. Even attacking midfielders Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela are in their mid-twenties, so the core of the Spurs team is young.
The next few months will be a major test of their nerve and mental strength. None of the current top three have experience of winning the title, although Arsenal have experience of challenging for the title and failing, so that experience may be useful.
Tottenham are a very good team and Spurs fans will see this season as their best chance of winning the title in a long time. However, even if Tottenham do not win the title this season the team have a bright future, with the likes of Alli and Kane only likely to improve with more experience.
A move to an expensive new stadium in the near future may mean prevent Spurs from spending big on new players in the next couple of summers, but if they can keep hold of Pochettino then that will not matter, as the Argentinian has a knack of finding real gems in transfer market.
Game at West Ham may not prove too damaging
Tottenham are now regarded as favourites to win the Premier League title at odds of 7/4. The game at West Ham is a tough one, but Tottenham could even afford a slip-up against the Hammers and still be well in the title race, as long as they defeat arch-rivals Arsenal at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
Looking at the fixture from a neutral view it seems that the draw is the most likely result at the Boleyn Ground. Tottenham have won their last six games in the Premier League, while the Hammers home form has been very good this season.
A win at the Boleyn Ground would definitely send out a title warning to the likes of Arsenal and Leicester. Looking from the outside in a draw against the Hammers would not be a terrible result for Pochettino’s team.
Tottenham and Leicester have made this season one of the most interesting Premier League title races in recent years. It would be a breath of fresh air for either to win the title. Both teams have been shrewdly built without spending hundreds of millions of pounds and it would be a rare poke in the eye for those so called ‘big clubs’.
Will Tottenham record a win at West Ham?