Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Prediction: West Ham vs Tottenham Hotspur

Verdict: Under 2.5 Goals

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmakers: William Hill

West Ham host London rivals Tottenham at the London Stadium on Saturday in a derby game that looks like a must-win for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. Both sides registered home wins in the Carabao Cup in midweek and will be looking to continue their good form in the Premier League.

West Ham

The Irons have won this fixture 1-0 in the past two seasons, and last year’s victory over their London rivals provided one of the few highlights of an otherwise miserable campaign at the London Stadium. Slaven Bilic’s men didn’t start this season in particularly inspiring form either. The Hammers conceded ten goals in their first three league games, resulting in losses against Manchester United, Southampton and Newcastle.

Thankfully the return to the London Stadium brought about a change in fortunes, and a 2-0 win over a previously unbeaten Huddersfield side provided West Ham with their first win and clean sheet of the season. Their good defensive form carried over to a hard-fought 0-0 draw away at West Brom, before a 3-0 home win over Bolton in midweek in preparation for the game against Spurs. The Irons have been known to raise their game in this big derby game, but last season’s match-winner from this fixture, Manuel Lanzini, won’t feature due to a knee injury. West Ham certainly have the players to hurt Tottenham, but they will miss their Argentinian playmaker’s creativity.

Team News

Manuel Lanzini is still recovering from a knee injury and thus won’t feature in this game. The Hammers will also be without James Collins for a month due to a sprained he suffered against West Brom. Pedro Obiang also looks set to miss out.

Mark Noble and Edimilson Fernandes could both return to action after periods on the sidelines.

Tottenham

Mauricio Pochettino’s side have been inconsistent this season, which is something that definitely couldn’t be said about them last campaign. A hugely impressive 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League preceded an uninspiring 0-0 draw at home to Swansea, and many have criticised Pochettino for his extensive rotation. Despite his excellent performance against Dortmund, Heung-min Son inexplicably played left wing back against Swansea, and Moussa Dembele, Ben Davies and Serge Aurier were all left on the bench. Even Harry Kane, whose August goal curse had been lifted with the arrival of September, couldn’t make the difference last weekend.

Spurs won 1-0 at home to Barnsley in midweek and a number of key players were rested. Pochettino should select a side more similar to the one that performed so well in the Champions League for this derby, especially given how quickly the Manchester clubs have started the season. Also promising is the fact that Spurs have won both of their away games in the league this season, beating both Newcastle and Everton without conceding a goal. The Spurs players seem to have been able to perform better away from the pressures of playing at Wembley, and the London Stadium will provide them with another chance to impress away from their makeshift home.

Team News

Victor Wanyama’s knee injury will keep him out until the beginning of October, and Erik Lamela (hip) and Danny Rose (knee) are both unlikely to return for the some time.

Ben Davies should return at the left wing back position and Harry Kane will feature having been rested for Spurs’ midweek Carabao Cup fixture.

Key Factors to Consider

  • West Ham have beaten Tottenham more times than they have beaten any other team in the Premier League (14)
  • Spurs have kept three clean sheets in the Premier League this season.
  • West Ham have failed to score in three of their league games this season.
  • December 2016 was the last time West Ham won consecutive Premier League games at the London Stadium
  • Harry Kane has scored 19 goals in 28 London derbies in the Premier League.

Conclusion

West Ham have an excellent recent record in this fixture, and Slaven Bilic’s side look to be heading in the right direction after a poor start. However with most of Spurs’ key players rested and ready to go in this important game, the Hammers may struggle against what is an incredibly difficult team to beat. It could be a scrappy game, but Pochettino’s men should come out on top.

Verdict: Under 2.5 Goals

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmakers: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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