West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur
Venue: London Stadium
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Tottenham return from the international break with a short trip across the capital to face West Ham United in a much anticipated London derby at the London Stadium.
Spurs will be hoping to make it four league wins in a row after beating Cardiff, Huddersfield and Brighton in their last three, and Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be looking to push themselves into the top four ahead of North London rivals Arsenal.
West Ham, however, will be looking to restart their recovery after it was halted last time out when they were beaten 1-0 against Brighton before the international break. The Hammers haven’t won a London derby in their last seven attempts, and a victory on Saturday could push them up the league from 15th to 12th; a considerable step to where they will want to be come the end of the season.
Tottenham have had a mixed time playing West Ham in recent years, winning the game at the London Stadium last season 3-2. They were then beaten in the League Cup after a memorable come back at Wembley, though in the following league fixture they could not be separated in a 1-1 draw at Wembley.
Manuel Pellegrini will be happy to call on star player Marko Arnautovic after the striker returned to training having come back from the Austria camp early. It was agreed that he would only play once for the national side as he tries to protect his knee.
Pellegrini will also have Scottish winger Robert Snodgrass available for selection as he has recovered from injury. Javier Hernandez can also return to the squad as he has finally recovered from his glandular fever; this has omitted him from selection for the last two games
The biggest news from the West Ham camp is that striker Andy Carroll has returned to training and could be contention for a place in the match day squad. Carroll has not featured this season after he picked up an ankle injury during West Ham’s pre-season tour, though he is likely to only be fit enough a place on the bench at most.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino will be in a good mood, as he has star attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen back fit for selection. He has recovered from an abdomen injury, which has forced him to miss the last four games.
Mousa Dembele, however, has recovered from a thigh injury and is in contention to be recalled to the matchday squad. Pochettino will be without England duo Danny Rose and Dele Alli, though they are both close to returning to fitness and will be back for the fixture after this weekend. Jan Vertonghen will also miss out as he continues his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris could also return to the squad after he was dropped for the game against Huddersfield. This was after he made a couple of high profile mistakes in the Champions League against Barcelona in a 2-4 defeat.
Predicted Starting XI’s
West Ham (4-3-3): Fabianski, Zabaleta, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku, Rice, Noble, Obiang, Yarmolenko, Anderson and Arnautovic
Tottenham (3-4-2-1): Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Dier, Trippier, Davies, Winks, Dembele, Eriksen, Lucas, Kane.
Predicted Score: West Ham United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2
Tottenham will be expecting to win this game as they do have more quality in their squad than West Ham, even with Alli out injured.
They will be expecting a hard game as the Hammers have performed better this season when playing against the bigger teams, including their memorable 3-1 victory over Manchester United and a 0-0 draw with Chelsea.
Harry Kane and Marko Arnautovic are the clear danger men for both teams and if they hit top form it could be a very exciting game, especially as Kane has scored more away goals in the league this season than any other player so far.
I think Tottenham will edge West Ham out though as they have that little extra quality and the Hammers defence can always be questionable.