Tottenham’s last away game of the season takes them to Upton Park with the aim of gaining their first win over West Ham United this season to prevent their opponents from making it three wins this year.
Team: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Rose; Lennon, Paulinho, Sigurdsson, Eriksen; Kane, Adebayor Subs: Friedel, Chiriches, Fryers, Bentaleb, Pritchard, Sandro, Soldado
The final London derby has significance for both sides – Tottenham want a win to deny the home team their third success over them this season after their two wins at White Hart Lane earlier in the season in the league and the Cup. West Ham want to achieve 3 wins over Spurs in a season for the first time but more crucially, they want at least a point to ensure they are mathematically safe from relegation.
Date: Saturday, 3rd May, 2014
Kick-off Time: 12.45pm (UK time)
TV Channel: BT Sport
At White Hart Lane
In early October, West Ham shocked Spurs with a 3 – 0 win. It was their first away win of the season and their first away goals. Spurs, prior to that game, had only conceded 2 goals in the opening 6 games of the season. West Ham went ahead in the 66th minute and scored twice in the next 13 minutes. Spurs had no response to West Ham’s tactical ploy of having no striker and the nature of the defeat raised questions about Andre Villas-Boas and was the beginning of the end for AVB.
Two months on, Tim Sherwood took charge of his first game as interim manager for the Capital One Cup tie. He brought Emmanuel Adebayor into the team and played with two wingers. Adebayor’s second half goal seemed to be a positive start for Spurs under their new manager but in the final ten minutes West Ham scored twice to spoil Tim’s evening.
Tottenham’s League Record at West Ham (inc. PL)
P 60 W 19 D 15 L 26 For 83 Ag 90
Premier League Record at Upton Park:
P 17 W 7 D 3 L 7 For 25 Ag 24Spurs have only lost once in their last 6 games at Upton Park, a 1 – 0 defeat in September, 2010. They have won 4 and drawn once in November, 2007 when Michael Dawson was the scorer. That sequence of results started with a dramatic 4 – 3 win in March 2007 when Dimitar Berbatov and Paul Stalteri scored two late goals to snatch the points.
Last Season at Upton Park
Gareth Bale’s late, late goal denied West Ham all three points after they had recovered from being a goal down. The game at the end of February saw Bale put Spurs ahead after 13 minutes. West Ham levelled with a penalty by Andy Carroll before half-time and Joe Cole put them ahead after the interval. Spurs came from 2 – 1 down to claim all three points with a goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson after 76 minutes and then Bale’s second of the evening, was another last minute winner. Bale received the ball from Tom Carroll in midfield, having been fouled in the immediate build up to that situation. Bale took a second to look up and assess the situation before chipping a powerful shot past the outstretched hands of the diving goalkeeper into the top right hand corner of the net from 25 yards. Perfect! That goal was voted HotspurHQ’s Gareth Bale’s Goal of the Season.
West Ham are 14th in the Premier League but with 37 points are only 5 points ahead of 18th-placed Norwich City. Realistically they are safe from relegation but not mathematically with two games to play, although it would take an amazing sequence of results for them to go down.
They are in a poor run of results with only 2 wins in their last 9 games and without a goal in their last two matches. They haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last 10 league games since a home win over Norwich. In mid-February West Ham were 10th having won 4 consecutive games. They then lost 3 in a row and followed it with 2 wins over Hull City and Sunderland which have kept them safe as they have subsequently lost their last 4 matches.
Sam Allardyce is under intense pressure with the West Ham fans calling for him to go.
West Ham have won 6 home games this season, drawn 3 and suffered 9 defeats. West Ham will be anxious to stop Spurs making it 10 home defeats for the season. The season started on a positive note for West Ham with a 2 – 0 home win over newly promoted Cardiff City. Their next home point didn’t come until early November in a scoreless draw with Aston Villa. At the end of the month they defeated Fulham 3 – 0 and managed two more points in draws against Sunderland and West Brom (0 – 0) and (3 – 3) respectively.
Three home wins in February against Swansea and Norwich (both 2 – 0) and Southampton (3 – 1) greatly improved their position but they have slipped again with only one win over Hull (2 – 1). Their last home game was a defeat by Crystal Palace (0 – 1) amd they lost by a similar score at West Brom last weekend.
Captain Kevin Nolan is their leading scorer with 7 goals. Joe Cole has 6 and their Senegal midfielder Mohamed Diame has scored 4 goals.
Spurs will hope to add to their 10 away league wins for the season as they look to match last season’s total of 72 points. While West Ham have lost their last 4 games, Spurs are undefeated in the same period. Spurs showed a competitive streak last weekend at Stoke as the home side battled back with 10-men and will need a similar determination and commitment at Upton Park.
With 4th place out of reach, Tottenham need two wins to challenge Everton for 5th but will require the Merseyside team to take only one point from their final games if they are to move ahead of them due to their inferior goal difference. A defeat for Spurs would leave the door open for Manchester United to move ahead of them if Ryan Giggs can mastermind three wins from their final three matches.
Tottenham continue to be without Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Etienne Capoue, Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches. Andros Townsend has now joined the injured contingent with his surgery on the ankle injured in last week’s win at Stoke.
West Ham are almost injury-free with only Marco Borriello unavailable with a calf problem.
Tottenham will be confident of a win at Upton Park given the contrasting current form of the two teams. It is, however, a London derby, and West Ham weren’t expected to cause Spurs many problems in the previous two meetings this season and look how those games turned out. If Spurs can reproduce the effort of the last few games to gain the upper-hand, they should be able to take the three points but West Ham have a tendency to raise their game for this derby and will want to bring down the curtain on this dismal season with a win in their final home game.
The win is there for the taking for Spurs but they can’t take anything for granted and will need to match their expectations with commitment and application.