Verdict: Away win
West Ham United play host to Tottenham Hotspur in an important Premier League clash on Friday night. Anything less than three points will not be enough for Spurs as they look to cut the gap on leaders Chelsea.
West Ham United
West Ham have been struggling in the league of late, with only one win in 12 games, and manager Slaven Bilic’s future looks to be in jeopardy after a disappointing season. The Hammers are still not guaranteed safety from relegation as they only sit six points above Swansea City in 18th place, and things could turn worrying if results go against them this weekend. Bilic’s men have difficult matches against Liverpool at home and Burnley away to end their season, and fans will be hoping for a win as soon as possible to cement Premier League football for next year. However, West Ham’s current form has done nothing to suggest the win is coming soon. It’s been a strange campaign for the Hammers in which they have struggled to adapt to their new stadium. Fans were concerned it wouldn’t be able to produce the same atmosphere as Upton Park and the players have been unable to replicate the same kind of performances seen at their historic stadium. Nonetheless, West Ham should be motivated to dent their rival’s title hopes, but they could be in for a long night.
West Ham are hopeful that Andy Carroll could be involved after a recent groin injury.
Michail Antonio, Angelo Ogbonna, Pedro Obiang and Diafra Sakho are all doubts.
Tottenham have produced some absolutely scintillating displays this season and are currently on a nine game winning run, scoring 25 goals and conceding just four in the process. Mauricio Pochettino’s men ensured they would finish above fierce rivals Arsenal with a 2-0 win against them last Sunday, but they were still unable to bridge the four-point gap between them and leaders Chelsea. Time is running out for Spurs with only four games left of the season and they face tough games against Manchester United and Leicester City in that period. However, if they can win against West Ham on Friday, the pressure will be on the Blues to beat Middlesbrough on Monday night. Tottenham will be boosted by the fact Young Player of the Year Dele Alli and Harry Kane have somehow found another level to their game in recent weeks. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has also kept six clean sheets out of nine and with this in mind, Spurs should be confident of achieving the three points.
Mousa Dembele could return to the starting line-up having been left on the bench for the London derby due to an ankle injury.
However, the match may prove too soon for Danny Rose.
Key Factors to Consider
- West Ham have picked up just one win from their last five Premier League meetings with Spurs (D1, L3)
- Between them, Harry Kane and Dele Alli have 38 league goals this season
- West Ham have kept three clean sheets in their last four games
- Kane has scored five times in as many Premier League matches against West Ham
- After overseeing wins in four of his first five league games against London opposition, West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has won just two out of 10 since
These two sides are at completely different ends of the form table and the difference will be evident on Friday night. Spurs have everything to play for, and even though West Ham will want to get one over on their London rivals, Pochettino’s men will pile the pressure on Chelsea with the three points.
Verdict: Away win
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