It’s been a while since both Tottenham and West Ham enjoyed such a good start to a Premier League campaign, and this should add even more spice to the local derby played at White Hart Lane this weekend. Both Spurs and Hammers will want to prove their top 4 ambitions with a strong performance on Sunday afternoon, which should result in an entertaining encounter.
There were plenty of good news during the international break for Tottenham Hotsput manager Mauricio Pochettino, with Heung-Min Son reaching full fitness after the lengthy injury lay-off, and the likes of Dele Alli and Eric Dier impressing for England in international friendlies. All the hype now surrounding the two talented midfielders is definitely an homage to Pochettino’s bravery as not too many managers would have dared to field the inexperienced pair in the centre of the park for the ultimate grudge match against North London rivals Arsenal. And while we also expected the Gunners midfield to dominate the proceedings, Alli and Dier produced a near-perfect performance to give Spurs the best possible chance of winning the match. Arsenal ultimately managed to escape defeat thanks to unlikely hero Kieron Gibbs, but Spurs, nonetheless, have plenty of reason for optimism ahead of another local derby. With Harry Kane and Moussa Dembele rediscovering their form and the defensive pairing of Belgium internationals Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen looking rock-solid, Tottenham have every reason to hope they can extend the promising run.
Heung-Min Son is finally fit to start and he is likely to come in for the suspended Erik Lamela, but Nabil Bentaleb and Nacer Chadli continue to miss out.
It is fair to say that West Ham have flourished under former Croatia head coach Slaven Bilic, who had enjoyed a short playing spell at Upton Park between 1996 and 1997. The Croatian tactician and his summer recruits created a buzz around Boleyn Ground that has been missing all these years and the team went on to record some remarkable results in the opening exchanges. In first ten Premier League fixtures, the Hammers managed to defeat the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, so they will definitely want to continue the trend against local rivals Tottenham. Nevertheless, the team exhibited some weaknesses in matches against the bottom table sides, losing to AFC Bournemouth and Watford, while the serious injury crisis appears to be affecting their performances as well. West Ham were quite unfortunate to stay without arguably their most outstanding performer this season as Dimitri Payet is set for a three-month spell on the sidelines, and this will be their first match without the influential midfielder. The visitors also have some other selection problems, meaning they could face a tough task at White Hart Lane.
Slaven Bilic hopes to welcome back Diafra Sakho and Alex Song to the side, but James Collins serves the second game of a three-match suspension. Enner Valencia and Pedro Obiang are out as well.
Spurs are finally looking like the team capable of mounting a serious top 4 challenge and they are on a high after three straight wins were followed by a very good performance in the North London derby. Meanwhile, West Ham appear to be slowing down and no doubt that Dimitri Payet will be sorely missed on Sunday afternoon.
Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 3/5
Bookmaker: William Hill
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