Tottenham continue their search for a top-four finish on Saturday as they welcome West Ham United for a London derby. These two sets of supporters have a lot of animosity for each other. The visitors will be desperate to become the first opposition team to win at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Meanwhile, the home side will be looking to consolidate their position in the top four. This will be a tricky test for them, as the Hammers have enough quality to cause them real problems.
During the week, Tottenham managed to pick up a priceless three points thanks to a late winner from Christian Eriksen against Brighton and Hove Albion. They are in a strong position due to their rivals dropping a lot of points over the last week. They have a four-point lead on Arsenal in 5th position and they will be confident that they can extend that before the end of the season. Every player and supporter will have one eye on the Champions League semi-final against Ajax, but it is important that they continue to take care of business in the league. This is another winnable game for them.
West Ham United have had a decent season under Manuel Pellegrini, but there is a hunger to achieve even more over the coming years. Their immediate aim will be to finish in the top ten. They currently trail Leicester City in 10th position by five points with three matches remaining. It will be difficult for them to break into the top half, but a win on Saturday would give them momentum to make it a possibility. This match offers an opportunity for the team to show that they can compete against the best and earn bragging rights for supporters.
- Tottenham have won all four of their matches at their new stadium without conceding a single goal.
- Only Liverpool (16) have won more points from losing positions than West Ham United. The Hammers have earned 15 points.
The Danish international showed his worth on Tuesday night as an excellent long-range strike earned a vital two points for his team. It has been a season of adjustment for Eriksen, as he has been asked to play in a deeper role with less attacking responsibility. However, the coming weeks will see him be asked to contribute more in the attacking half. The injury to Harry Kane has left Tottenham with a gap up front, meaning that Eriksen, Lucas Moura, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min are all required to step up. During the season, the midfielder has contributed seven goals and 12 assists, which is another very good return. It has been recently that he has been at his most effective, with two goals and five assists coming in his last seven matches across all competitions. West Ham won’t be as defensive as Brighton were on Tuesday, which means that there will be space in midfield for him to exploit. It could be another very productive afternoon for the 27-year-old ahead of the Champions League semi-final.
It is in matches against the top six that Felipe Anderson has stood out this season. The Brazilian came to West Ham for a big fee and it was hoped that he could be the standout player in this new era at the London Stadium. His first season has been good, as he has contributed nine goals and four assists. Although supporters will have hoped for more, it is a good showing considering it is his first campaign in England. At the age of 26, he will be expected to improve next season and become the best player in this team. Last weekend, he had an impressive showing against Leicester City. The former Lazio player completed eight dribbles, made two key passes and six ball recoveries. It was a complete performance, highlighting how he is important in both halves of the pitch. Despite his South American heritage, Anderson is a player with high work rate and that is why he is crucial in matches against the better teams in the league.
Harry Kane remains on the injury list and he is likely to miss the rest of the campaign. Son Heung-min will start as he is suspended for the first leg of the Champions League semi-final. Danny Rose could be rested, due to his importance at left-back.
Javier Hernandez could return for the visitors to provide another goal threat. Aaron Cresswell and Manuel Lanzini are nearing returns, but they may not be rushed into this fixture. Jack Wilshere needs to gain more minutes before he is a contender to start.
This is going to be a good watch for the neutral as these two teams often deliver entertaining matches. Tottenham need the points to consolidate their position in the top four, while West Ham will be desperate to be the first team to win at their local rivals’ new stadium. Another level of intrigue comes from the team selection from the hosts, as key players could be rested for the Ajax game. An entertaining score draw looks to be a good bet.
Tottenham 2-2 West Ham