After last night's thriller between Arsenal and Chelsea we stay in the capital as the friendliest of rivals, Totenham Hotspur and West Ham head-to-head in a bid not only for Premier League points, but also those bragging rights that mean so much to fans of both clubs.
Historically, this game never fails to deliver and with both teams needing the points we're predicting another London thriller! Who wins? We preview the merits of both teams below.
LONDON'S CALLING, AGAIN!
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 V 1 WEST HAM
Down the years this bitterest of rivalries has thrown up some classic encounters, with both sides eager to get the upper hand on the other. Tonight, for differing reasons, both will be desperate for the win again, but who’ll claim that honour come the final whistle?
Spurs come into this match on the back of a comfortable 2-0 win over Swansea. However, despite looking relaxed and in total control in the first half, Spurs had to endure a few nervous moments before Dele Ali’s ‘lucky’ second wrapped up the points for the north Londoners. That lapse in concentration will not have gone unnoticed by manager Pochettino, however, and he may look to shake any complacency from his troops by way of a couple of personnel changes. That and the fact that this match comes 48hours after the Swansea game, of course…!
West Ham arrive after a winning start of their own in 2018, beating West Brom 2-1 thanks to a second-half brace of Andy Carroll goals. The Hammers have certainly picked-up after David Moyes took over the reins, but their away record is still worrying: Only West Brom and Stoke have won fewer points on their travels this season and they have second worst defensive record on the road. That said, they’ve beaten Spurs a Wembley once already this season, knocking them out of the League Cup after turning around a two-goal deficit to win 3-2. Admittedly, it was a weakened Spurs team, but with Carroll and Arnautovic on fire, the loss of Toby Alderwerild could be costly… At least West Ham will hope so as they bid to burst Spurs’ bubble, along with their hopes of rejoining Europe’s elite.
Ben Davies will get the nod ahead of Manchester United target Danny Rose, who has a knee injury. Kane is expected to start after only coming on as a late sub against Swansea. Dembele remains a doubt, so expect a first start since August for fit-again Victor Wanyama, as Pochettino looks to bolster his midfield.
For the visitors Diafra Sakho looks certain to sit this one out along with James Collins, Jose Fonte, Sam Byram, Michail Antonio, and Edimilson Fernandes. Moyes could recall Andre Ayew and Aaron Cresswell to the starting line-up.
#THFC Poss. XI: Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Wink, Wanyama, Eriksen; Son, Kane, Dele
#WHUFC Poss. XI: Adrian; Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Masuaku; Kouyate, Noble; Ayew, Arnautovic, Lanzini; Hernandez
What We Sayin’?
Another tough one to call, this. Tottenham won the reverse fixture 3-2 at the London Stadium, but haven’t won both league meetings with West Ham in a season since the 2012-13 campaign, and despite the indiffferent form of West Ham, anything goes in a derby. That said, West Ham are porous and Harry Kane loves a derby, scoring 20 in 25 derby matches. He's 2/1 to score first and 2/5 to score at anytime. On the flip side, Andy Carroll will be a problem for a defence missing Alderwerild and the big man is a danger from set pieces. He's 9/1 to score first and 3/1 at any time.
Given the above, BTTS has a certain catchet at 10/11, whilst BTTS and over 2.5 goals at 5/4 also appeals. If you fancy another epic 3-2 then that's 25/1 for Spurs and 80/1 West Ham. However, we can't quite see that... we're going for a 3-1 home win (9/1) with Son the last scorer (28/1).
Whomever you decide to back, don't forget to follow us on Twitter (@stanjames) as we mark your card with all the latest updates: it's just like being pitchside yourself!
Please do bet responsibly, and the best of luck!
*All prices subject to fluctuation. Make sure to check StanJames.com for up to date prices.
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