Tottenham @ West Ham Preview and Lineups

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - APRIL 01: Hugo Lloris of Tottenham Hotspur arrives prior to the Premier League match between Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur at Turf Moor on April 1, 2017 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - APRIL 01: Hugo Lloris of Tottenham Hotspur arrives prior to the Premier League match between Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur at Turf Moor on April 1, 2017 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Tottenham travel to West Ham’s London Stadium on Friday evening in hopes of overcoming an unlikely defeat last season and a too-narrow in in the fall.

Slaven Bilić orchestrated something of a coup in beating Tottenham 1-0 last season at Upton Park, and came close to doing something similar in the fall before Spurs scored late goals to secure a 3-2 win at White Hart Lane.

Now, though, Bilić is missing some key men, and will be facing off against a Tottenham side full to the gills with talent even if the likes of Danny Rose and Érik Lamela remain sidelined through injuries.

With nine days until Spurs return to north London to take on Manchester United, Mauricio Pochettino predictably named a strong squad to take on Bilić’s Hammers.


The team is virtually identical to the one that beat Arsenal 2-0 last weekend, with one notable exception. Kyle Walker returns to the starting XI after a week of speculation regarding his future with the club. All eyes will be on him throughout the match.

Beside Walker, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld will lead the defensive effort. The 4-2-3-1 will allow for Eric Dier to drop back from midfield in support of his erstwhile fellow centre-backs, thereby allowing Walker more freedom to bomb up the pitch as needed.

And bombing is what Spurs will be doing. Though this formation might not be quite as top-heavy as the 3-4-2-1, it does permit the full-backs to push up. It also so happens to make room for Heung-min Son. The winger is in fine form of late, so expect for him and Ben Davies to combine in overloads on the left frlank.

Spurs’ focus will be more narrow however. Pochettino is deploying the usual trio of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli to secure the goals needed here. Few defenses have successfully resisted that trio so far this season.

It’s worth noting that West Ham are on the tail end of two cleansheets against Stoke and Everton, though their offense failed to score in both matches. Spurs are consciously looking to overwhelm their hosts through the center of the park, hoping that an early goal or two will be enough to see off an opposition that might be firing blanks.

West Ham are, as expected, missing key attackers Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio, but they still look like a tricky side.

Manuel Lanzini is capable of the odd bit of magic, while Sam Cresswell will test Walker’s resolve on the right. Cheikhou Kouyate has also proved the bane of Spurs midfields in the past, so look for him to try to break up the efforts of Eriksen through the middle.

Next: Pochettino heaps praise on Daniel Levy

Check back here after the 90 minutes for a match report and more analysis.