Friday, 5 December 2008

West Ham v Tottenham Premier League Preview: Can The Hammers Continue Their Recent Form Against Spurs?


West Ham United play, Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League at Upton Park on Monday.

Hammers manager Gianfranco Zola was starting to come under pressure at Upton Park in his first managerial job. However, a spirited 0-0 draw against Liverpool on Monday night at Anfield, which was on the back of a 1-0 win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light has turned things around for West Ham, who had not won in their previous seven Premier League games. West Ham, are just three points above Tottenham and with things so tight in the Premiership this season, will hope to collect all three points against their London rivals.

Spurs lost at White Hart Lane last week to Everton, which was the first loss at home under Harry Redknapp, having won all their other matches on their own patch since the former Portsmouth boss took over from Juande Ramos. However, despite having a good run of form before the defeat to the Toffees, Spurs are just out of the relegation spots on goal difference in 16th place in the Premier League. However, Tottenham did make it through to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup on Wednesday, when they beat Championship side Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road. Roman Pavlyuchenko and Darren Bent bagged one apiece to send the North London club through, with Redknapp hoping for more of the same to fire Spurs up the table.

Zola is unable to call on Kieron Dyer (broken leg), Jonathan Spector (Thigh), Daniel Gabbidon (groin) and striker Dean Ashton (os Trigonum syndrome) for the visit of Tottenham. With Craig Bellamy, Carlton Cole David Di Michele and Diego Tristan all fighting to play upfront in a Hammers attack that has been misfiring recently.

Tottenham will be without Alan Hutton (metatarsal), Luka Modric (thigh) and summer signing Giovanni Dos Santos (ankle) for the trip across London to Upton park. Redknapp is likely to field his strongest side against the Hammers as the Spurs boss is only too aware of the tightness of the situation at the bottom of the table and the importance of staying in the Premier League to Tottenham.

“It's very hard to get out, you need a good run. We've had a good run, we've taken nearly two points a game,” Redknapp said earlier this week.

“Long term the most important thing for this club is the Premier League. That's the most important thing by far.”

West Ham United: (from) Green, Neill, Ilunga, Lopez, Parker, Bellamy, Etherington, Cole, Boa Morte, Upson, Noble, Mullins, Collins, Faubert, Behrami, Stokes, Lastuvka, Tristan, Davenport, Bowyer, Collison, Di Michele, Sears, Stech, Hines, Jeffery

Tottenham Hotspur: (from) Gomes, King, Woodgate, Corluka, Bale, Jenas, Bentley, Zokora, Lennon, Huddlestone, Bent, Pavlyuchenko, Cesar, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto,
Gunter, Campbell, Stalteri, Ghaly, Taarabt, Rocha, Boateng, O’Hara, Gilberto, Alnwick

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