Verdict: Over 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 7/10
Four straight draws have seen Spurs slip to fifth in the Premier League standings and they will be in all sorts of problems if they fail to beat their local rivals on Saturday. West Ham showed some improvement of late, but they still sit just one point above the bottom three, meaning there will be a lot at stake for the Hammers as well.
With all their title rivals seriously strengthening their respective squads in the summer, it was never going to be easy for Tottenham to mount another serious title challenge, like they did last term. Eleven games into the new campaign and Spurs sit five points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, but that is not such a bad place to be considering everything the team have faced since the new campaign kicked off. Namely, key men Harry Kane and Moussa Dembele have missed a large chunk of the opening exchanges through injury and suspension respectively, while other first team regulars have struggled for fitness as well. Add to that their Champions League exploits and you will understand why Tottenham’s latest performances have left a lot to be desired, but the most important thing is that there is still plenty of time left for Spurs to get their season back on track. The hosts will be under a great deal of pressure having failed to win any of their last seven fixtures in all competitions, while Mauricio Pochettino faces another selection headache, with quite a few star players rated doubtful for the local derby against West Ham.
The good news is that Harry Kane didn’t feature for England during the international break and he is almost certain to start vs West Ham.
Christian Eriksen should be able to shake off minor knock, but Moussa Dembele, Vincent Janssen and Ben Davies all face fitness tests. Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela should be fit to play.
While West Ham made the front pages for all the right reasons last term, they have again been the talk of England, but mostly due to their disappointing showings this season. Winning just one of their first seven Premier League fixtures, the Hammers found themselves in the danger zone, and while back to back wins over Crystal Palace and Sunderland helped improve their league position, Slaven Bilic’s men are not in the clear just yet. West Ham also managed to pip Chelsea to a place in the EFL Cup quarter-finals, but they were unable to build on three successive triumphs in all competitions, having picked up just one point from last two league fixtures against Everton and Stoke. Chances are the Hammers will eventually come good and start climbing the Premier League standings, but that is unlikely to happen any time soon given the number of difficult fixtures that lie ahead. Namely, Slaven Bilic’s charges will face Tottenham, Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool in their next four league games, while also battling the Red Devils for a place in the EFL Cup semis. This means that the Hammers have no choice but to try and get something from the Spurs derby, and we fully expect them to adopt a positive approach.
Winston Reid and James Collins have been added to the infirmary, although the Welsh defender stands a chance of facing Spurs.
Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho, Reece Oxford, Arthur Masuaku, Gokhan Tore and Sam Byram are, however, all expected to miss out.
Key Factors to Consider
- Each of their last five meetings at the Lane produced three goals or more
- Spurs won just two of those five matches (D1 L2)
- Quite a few Tottenham players face fitness tests
- Spurs are winless in last seven games (D5 L2)
- West Ham lost five of seven away fixtures this term (W1 D1)
This will be a very important match for both Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, and seeing that neither side would be too happy with a share of spoils, we do expect to witness an entertaining affair. With their last five matches at the Lane producing three goals or more, we are backing the trend to continue.
Verdict: Over 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 7/10
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