Another good ol’ London Derby at Olympic Stadium, it’s no Upton Park. West Ham has experienced the same outcomes as Spurs at Wembley, it doesn’t feel like home. The Hammers are sitting 15th in the Table above the drop some, I would suggest comfortable enough, but Bilic wants to ensure they are guaranteed to stay up, so I expect they’ll play with some motivation. The Spurs have been fixated on the idea of getting to 1 point behind and putting pressure on Chelsea who of Middlesbrough on Monday. Brough was able to draw Man City last weekend, and were considered unlucky by some to not escape with the full 3 given the contentious penalty for Man City.
I expect the Spurs will align similar to this past weekend. They want to keep Sonny in the line up. They did rest Dembele and subbed him in later in the match. It’s hard to keep Sonny out having bagged a dozen this season. The attacking 3 have been sharp and could have put more away against the Gunners. The hammers don’t have the flare of last season, with expectations that the team will sack Bilic at some point (maybe not in the final four games), but possibly the end of the season. They kept Payet through all the pressure of the summer especially after his Euro performance for France, but they did not seem to get the Payet of last season. Andy Carroll may start and give the Spurs some fits on the back line w/ his size and aggression, but that will yet to be seen.
As I’ve said with the Spurs other away games at Swansea and at Palace, they will need to grind 3 points. I don’t expect an easy match on a Friday night against the Hammers. The Spurs have played incredibly well compared to the end of last season where they looked fatigued and unable to finish the season strong to keep up with title winners Leicester. The Spurs hope is that Chelsea draw two of their final four games to give them a chance at winning on goal differential. Their depth this season has helped them continue the fight.
Other changes over the past two weeks have been Trippier playing the right flank as news swirls that Walker and Poch are not getting along and his benching has more to do with their fractured relationship. Walker even changing his twitter account to his England Squad kit from his Spurs kit. Big clubs have speculated to be swooping in and the Spurs are expected to command big bucks if he is to leave. It has not appeared to distract the club too much at this point, they have played well.
If the Spurs get on the sheet early they could open up the Hammers for goals, if the game is tight, I expect a 1-0 or 2-1 win for the Spurs. They absolutely need to keep the pressure on the Blues.
Oh when the Spurs go marching in… To Dare is to Do..