Chelsea’s result against City means that we know what the reward for three points at Upton Park is – third place – and we’re favourites to get the win and the points. Our last visit to West Ham was when we lost 1-0 during their latest relegation season when we were also expected to come out on top so we’d be unwise to take anything for granted in what is a big game for them, indeed some might say was their cup final.
The Hamsters’ form has been less than impressive after a good start to the season, they’ve won only twice since the first of December, though one of those was in their last home game when they defeated a distracted Swansea. The winner that day was scored by Andy Carroll, his second of the season, his other came in our 3-1 win at White Hart Lane in November. That game hit the headlines due to the publicity given to the behaviour of many of the away fans, behaviour that wasn’t unusual I think it’s fair to say when taken in the context of previous Spurs v West Ham games but the reporting and ‘outrage’ that day helped give oxygen to the David Baddiel/Peter Herbert driven campaigns that may ultimately have inadvertently given rise to the attacks in Rome and Lyon. The exaggeration of our Jewish affiliations can surely have come from nowhere else? Anyway both clubs have issued warnings to their supporters to behave themselves so I’m sure everything will be ok this time around.
As far as I’m aware we picked up no injuries in Lyon and neither Kaboul nor Defoe are ready yet so I’d expect the side to be similar to the one that played in France apart from in goal where Lloris will return and at centre half where I’d be surprised if Dawson didn’t end up with the job of avoiding Carroll’s elbows for ninety minutes, despite the fact that he lost virtually every ball to him at WHL.
Much will depend on Parker and Dembélé’s ability to impose a bit of order in midfield, if that doesn’t happen we can expect Noble, Nolan and Diame to apply pressure and Jarvis and Taylor to aim up-and-unders at Carroll. If it does happen then you’ve got to hope that between them Lennon, Bale, Holtby and Adebayor can create enough chances to give us a good opportunity of forcing the win.
Howard Webb is the referee so expect don’t buy yellow cards at the bookies. COYS.
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