After their win over local rivals Arsenal last weekend, Tottenham will be wanting to carry on their good form against West Ham United. There is no love lost between these clubs and it will be another fiercely contested match. Although the Hammers haven’t had the best season, they will be looking to give their supporters something to cheer about with a win over Spurs. There is still a chance that Mauricio Pochettino’s team can win the title this season and it would be sweet for Slaven Bilic if he can end those hopes.
This season has been a poor one for West Ham as they have gone from competing in the top eight to flirting with relegation. They are currently 15th with 39 points and are likely to remain in the top flight, but the club won’t be happy with that. After moving to the London Stadium, there was a belief that they could push on and establish themselves in European football. It has only been one season, but they do look like they are a long way from that. There have been rumours about Bilic’s future during recent weeks and it will be interesting to see if he is given the chance to stay through the summer.
Tottenham have been the best team in the Premier League across the last two seasons and they will feel desperately unlucky that they haven’t won a trophy during that time. Last weekend, they were dominant against Arsenal and could have won by a much bigger margin. Their home form has been imperious and it wasn’t surprising to see them play their local rivals off the park. The league title remains a possibility and a win on Friday will increase the pressure on Chelsea. Given West Ham’s recent form, they should go into the game with a lot of confidence.
In the earlier meeting of the two clubs this season, Tottenham recorded a dramatic victory after West Ham led for the majority of the match. The game finished 3-2 with the Spurs’ goals being scored by Harry Winks and Harry Kane (2), while Michail Antonio and Manuel Lanzini scored for the visitors. Meanwhile, in the match at Upton Park last season, the Hammers triumphed 1-0 with Antonio scoring the winner.
West Ham United have kept three clean sheets in their last four games after a run of ten matches without one.
Tottenham have confirmed that they will finish above Arsenal for the first time since 1994/95.
After the departure of Dimitri Payet, it was expected that Manuel Lanzini would step up to take the mantle. Despite some good moments, there is still a lot more to come from the 24-year-old and he will be hoping to impress on Friday night against Tottenham. This season, he has contributed seven goals and two assists, which is a good return, but more will have been expected from him, especially in terms of his creativity. He poses a real goal threat in the final third, as shown by his average of 2.34 shots per ninety minutes. There will be hope that he can become more creative in the number ten role as his side are currently struggling to break teams down. The Argentine currently averages 1.69 chances created per ninety minutes and given the Hammers haven’t scored in their last two matches, this is an area that he must improve in. In the first meeting of the two clubs, the attacking midfielder played well and managed to get on the score-sheet. A similar performance will be required if West Ham are to have a chance of getting a positive result.
The Premier League young player of the year has had another superb season and is emerging as one of the best midfielders in the division. He is currently the midfielder with the most goals in the division after taking his tally to 17 last weekend and there is a great opportunity for him to break the 20-goal mark. Not only has he remained an influential presence in the final third, but Alli has shown that he is able to understand the tactical side of the game. The England international is able to play a number of different roles across the two formations that Mauricio Pochettino frequently uses. His movement in the final third is superb and he is excellent at finding pockets of space in the final third. Last weekend, he missed a huge chance while the scores were 0-0, but he didn’t let it effect him and found the back of the net in the second half to open the scoring. West Ham have been better defensively in recent weeks, but they are still fallible and Alli will cause them a lot of problems.
Arthur Masuaku is a doubt with a knock, while Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll could be available for selection after their respective injuries. Michail Antonio, Pedro Obiang, Angelo Ogbonna and Gokhan Tore all remain on the treatment table and won’t be fit to play this weekend.
Danny Rose is closing in on a return to the first team, but he might not be risked on Friday night. Harry Winks and Erik Lamela won’t be available for selection.
It is another London derby for Tottenham to deal with and West Ham are a team that they have found it difficult to beat in recent seasons. They should have enough to take the three points on Friday, but it won’t be easy and it will be a close contest. The Hammers have been solid defensively in recent weeks and they will be difficult to break down. However, they have struggled to score goals and they won’t cause the Tottenham defence too many problems unless they massively improve in the final third. Spurs should close the gap on Chelsea to one point on Friday and put the pressure back onto the Blues.