Saturday, December 14, 2019

Prediction: West Ham vs Tottenham Hotspur

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 22 Nov 2019

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Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 78/100

Bookmaker: William Hill

West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur are set to open the 13th round of the Premier League season with the Hammers welcoming the Champions League finalists to the London Stadium on Saturday, lunch time.

West Ham

The Hammers have been a very curious case in recent years. Ever since their move from the Boleyn Ground to the London Stadium in 2016, they’ve been expected to rise through the ranks at the Premier League, but neither Slaven Bilic, nor David Moyes managed to deliver success from the dugout. Now they are led by Premier League winner Manuel Pellegrini, but their fortunes still haven’t improved.

They enter the clash from the 16th place, with four defeats coming in the last five games. Pellegrini has now come under some pressure which is understandable, and another loss would certainly add fuel to the fire under his seat.

Team News

For this clash, the Chilean tactician will be without his arguably most creative player, Manuel Lanzini, who is a long-term absentee with a fractured collar-bone. Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is also out, which means Roberto Jimenez is likely to stand between the posts once more.

Meanwhile, midfielders Mark Noble, Jack Wilshere and Michail Antonio are all available, having recovered from injuries.

Tottenam Hotspur

Spurs have been the centre of attention this week, and the reason for that is probably known to you by now – they sacked manager Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday evening and announced the appointment of Jose Mourinho in his place on Wednesday morning. The Portuguese had been waiting for a chance to join a third club in the Premier League, having won major trophies with Chelsea and Manchester United before the results went downhill.

Mourinho thanked Pochettino for the work he had done over the last five years, which, when looked as a whole, can only be described as fantastic. However, the results this season were far from expected and the club obviously felt they had to react. Spurs are 14th at the moment, and the hope of repeating the success of the previous seasons and qualifying for the Champions League again are all but gone. They have 14 points to their name, which is 11 less than the current occupant of the fourth place, the title defenders Manchester City.

They are facing an uphill battle for sure, but Mourinho will feel very little pressure at this point. It may be different for his players, though.

Team News

Mourinho revealed that midfielder Tanguy Ndombele and defender Jan Vertonghen faced late fitness tests before they could be declared ready to play on Saturday. Goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm are both out of this game, leaving Paulo Gazzaniga a certainty in the starting XI. Winger Erik Lamela is also out.

Conclusion

The Premier League has seen the ‘new manager effect’ in action many times, and it feels like this game will also be under its influence as far as the visitors are concerned. Spurs players will want to justify the fair words Mourinho spoke about them, which means they will be highly motivated. Mourinho will also have seen what West Ham can do, he knows they are far from their best at the moment, and he will come to East London with a plan.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 78/100

Bookmaker: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.

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