It’s an all London affair in Saturday’s late kick-off as the Premier League returns after the international break, with Spurs hosting rivals West Ham at White Hart Lane. The hosts are the only team in the Premier League and across all four of England’s top divisions still unbeaten in the league this season, whilst the Hammers, who have stabilised following a run of only two defeats in six, will be hoping to put an end to that this weekend.
Tottenham may be the only team yet to taste defeat in the Premier League this season, but they have been cut adrift at the top following a run of two wins in six (W2, D4). Their most recent triumph was a 2-0 victory over Manchester City, but since then the North London outfit have dropped points against West Bromwich Albion, Bournemouth, Leicester City and Arsenal, and need to get back to winning ways soon if they are to make their impressive statistic count for anything.
West Ham meanwhile have steadied the ship following their poor run of form earlier in the season, winning two of their last four. They do come off the back of a defeat at Everton and a stalemate at home to Stoke City however, so Slaven Bilic’s side will be looking to return to winning ways against Mauricio Pochettino’s men and put some daylight between themselves and the relegation zone. With five defeats in their last six away from home however, the Hammers will need to be at their best to put Spurs to the sword.
The hosts are expected to start in a 3-4-1-2 formation, with Son Heung-Min taking up a central role alongside the fit again Harry Kane. Eric Dier, usually utilised as a defensive midfielder these days, will slot into the back three alongside Kevin Wimmer and Jan Vertonghen, with Toby Alderweireld missing through injury.
Kyle Walker and Danny Rose will feature as wing-backs, giving them licence to roam forward, with Victor Wanyama and Moussa Dembélé in midfield, and Christian Eriksen operating in the hole behind the front two.
West Ham’s extensive injury and suspensions list means Cheikhou Kouyaté may have to slot in at central defence alongside James Collins and Angelo Ogbonna, with Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio providing width to a three man defence. Havard Nordtveit and Pedro Obiang are expected to anchor the midfield, with Dimitri Payet and Manual Lanzini in attacking midfield roles behind lone forward Andre Ayew.
Tottenham Hotspur predicted starting XI West Ham United predicted starting XI
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Tottenham have a few injury concerns heading into this London derby with West Ham. Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela are the most notable absentees, whilst Dele Alli is doubtful. Defender Ben Davies is also missing through injury.
West Ham have a far longer injury list to contend with. Arthur Masuaku, Gokhan Tore, Sam Byram, Andy Carroll and Winston Reid are all missing through injury. Midfield star Mark Noble is missing through suspension, whilst James Collins, Diafra Sakho and Reece Oxford are all doubts.
Tottenham are winless in their last seven in all competitions, but will be in the hunt for something here. The return to fitness of Harry Kane could tip the balance in the favour of Mauricio Pochettino’s side particularly, especially considering West Ham’s absentees in defence.
The Hammers however have lost only one of their last six competitive fixtures, but have won only three league games this season, against Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Sunderland. They have also failed to win in their last two trips to White Hart Lane in the league, and Saturday’s late kick-off will be another tough examination.
All that said, the hosts are expected to return to winning ways against West Ham, who should feel the strain of their depleted side. Our prediction is Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 West Ham United.
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