West Ham prepare for trip to White Hart Lane
14:30 19 February 2015
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane the one Sam Allardyce’s team need to watch closely
West Ham will be looking to bounce back after their disappointing FA Cup exit so a London derby at Tottenham, where form generally goes out of the window, could potentially be the perfect match for Sam Allardyce’s team to respond and get their season going again.
They will visit White Hart Lane on Sunday with last season’s two successes at the forefront of their minds and knowing they haven’t lost at Spurs since November 2012.
Two of the stars of that famous 3-0 win at north London last year, Ravel Morrison and Ricardo Vaz Te, have since departed Upton Park, but the likes of Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia will be gunning to down Mauricio Pochettino’s team.
And Matt Jarvis, who netted in the 2-1 Capital One Cup victory last season, will also be available and hoping to pile more misery on Spurs.
Tottenham go into the clash off the back of a 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on February 10, but their form prior to that had been encouraging.
They squeezed past League One side Sheffield United to reach the Capital One Cup final and have defeated Arsenal and Chelsea recently, but went out of the FA Cup to Leicester.
Their record in London derbies this campaign will be a concern for Allardyce, however. They have only lost two out of eight, and both were away from home – 3-0 to Chelsea and 2-1 to Crystal Palace.
Spurs edged the meeting on the opening day of the season at Upton Park too as Eric Dier netted late on to seal a 1-0 win, but West Ham would have been kicking themselves afterwards.
Mark Noble missed a first-half penalty that day and they had a one-man advantage for a lengthy period of time after Kyle Naughton was sent off. If they are to win this weekend, they will need to make sure they take their chances.
West Ham will need to keep a close eye on 21-year-old Harry Kane on Sunday as well if they are to get anything from the game.
His season has got better and better with each passing week, but his success started at Upton Park on the opening day of the campaign when his through ball to Dier earned Spurs the bragging rights.
Since that day Kane has gone on to net 23 times himself in all competitions for Spurs and he has five goals in his last three matches.
Kane will surely be the biggest threat to West Ham on Sunday.
Possible Tottenham Hotspur team: Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Dier, Rose, Mason, Bentaleb, Eriksen, Lamela, Dembele, Kane.
Prediction: Spurs 2 West Ham 0.