Tottenham v West Ham Preview: Kane Ready and Able to Iron Out the Hammers

Tottenham's Harry Kane on Football Pitch
Image Credit: Brad Tutterow via flickr (cropped)

Punters have a very rare treat to enjoy this week in the form of Thursday night football, with West Ham making the short trip across the capital to take on Tottenham at Wembley.

Both of these teams were in action on Tuesday night, and so the fitness of all involved will be tested to the limits.

That said, one man who enjoyed the night off, by and large, in Swansea was Harry Kane, who played just 22 minutes as a sub after picking up a cold. Mauricio Pochettino intimated after the match that the England frontman will be fit enough to start against the Hammers, and that will strike fear into a defence that conceded seven goals in just three festive outings.

So with Spurs a handsome 1/3 favourite and Kane ready to make his mark in 2018, where does the best of the betting value lie?

Team News

David Moyes
Credit: BohemianFC Flickr

Kane may be able to take his place in the Spurs starting eleven, but Mauricio Pochettino is without three other first team regulars.

Toby Alderweireld is continuing his rehab after suffering that thigh injury in 2017, but he is expected to miss the whole of January. Danny Rose has a knee complaint and is likely to miss out, while Mousa Dembele’s hip injury, which saw him miss out against Swansea, means he is rated as no better than 50/50 here.

David Moyes has something of a defensive crisis to solve, meanwhile. James Collins definitely misses out here, while Aaron Cresswell is struggling with a bad back. They join Jose Fonte and Sam Byram on the sidelines, as well as more attack-minded players such as Michail Antonio, Diafra Sakho and Edemilson Fernandes.

Spurs Form

Spurs have won five of their last six Premier League outings, and perhaps more importantly for them their attacking players are all doing their bit to take the goalscoring pressure off Harry Kane somewhat – they have notched 18 goals in their last half-dozen appearances.

Tellingly, four of those five victories have come against sides in the bottom half of the table – where West Ham currently reside.

The Hammers have improved under Moyes as a formline of W3 D2 L2 outlines, although it has to be noted that seven of those eleven points have come against sides in the bottom six of the division.

But, and this cannot be overlooked, West Ham have taken points off Chelsea and Arsenal under Moyes, and were unlucky to lose to a late David Silva goal against Manchester City.

Head to Head Record

The most recent meeting between the two sides was the thrilling 3-2 for West Ham at Wembley in the League Cup, although how much can be read into that, considering both managers named rotated starting elevens, is anybody’s guess.

All in all, the Hammers have won three of their last five against Spurs, although if we discount that League Cup tie earlier in the campaign, we note that Tottenham are unbeaten in three against the Iron on home turf (namely White Hart Lane).

Remarkably, only two of the last 21 encounters between the teams has ended in stalemate!

The Verdict

Tottenham CrestAlthough West Ham have the ability to make life difficult, you would fully expect Tottenham to win this match.

Pochettino’s men have well and truly shaken off the so-called Wembley curse; the 4-1 win over Liverpool arguably being the watershed moment. Since then their form at their adopted home reads W4 D1 L0.

Both teams have injury concerns to keep defensive players, and with question marks surrounding the quality of Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies – plus the fact that West Ham have scored two or more in each of their last four outings – we have to assume there will be goals here.

Remarkably the Hammers have kept clean sheets against Arsenal and Chelsea this term, but both of those came on home soil. Away from home they have shipped two or more goals in four of their last five, and that is instructive as to how this match might pan out.

So when we put all of this information into the mix, we come out with a likely result that Tottenham will win with Over 2.5 Goals a probability. So backing the double at 4/5 is wise.