Spurs v West Ham Preview
White Hart Lane
It`s off to North London tomorrow afternoon. It`s our annual pilgrimage to the rough part of the capital as we seek to maintain our good start to the season.
Spurs participation in the Europa League, something we`ve no intention of knocking as it remains a dream for us too chase, means we`re lumbered with a Sunday afternoon start.
But is it a game we can win, why not, Spurs haven`t, under Andre Villas-Boas, been rocking lately and some would say the three points are there for the taking.
With three huge games coming, against what many perceive as three of the big hitters of the Premier League, Big Sam sees the trip, this Sunday, as a fixture that could be seen as a signal of intent when he remarks,
"We`ve got here big games in six days and that`s a big test for us now."
"It`s about us trying to prepare for this game fist and nobody lets themselves drift into what`s coming up in Manchester United and then Chelsea."
That`s it Sam, one game at a time.
Spurs Team News:
Andre Villas-Boas, coming under increasing pressure from the Spur support, enters this match without the services of his star striker Emmanuel Adebyaor with the African starting the first of a three game ban for his high jinx against Arsenal last time out. With Adebayor our, a certain Jermain Defoe will more than likely start.
Also missing will be somebody we still have fond memories of Scott Parker. Scotty has yet to start this season as he battles back from an injury. Villas-Boas is also likely to be without another summer acquisition with Moussa Dembele struggling with a hip injury.
Player to watch: Gareth Bale
Okay I know everyone gives him stick but the acid test is whether you`d welcome him at your club and when the answer is a resounding yes, it`s time to sit back, admire his skills and hope he doesn`t do you too much damage.
West Ham Team News:
It`s mixed news for Big Sam on the injury front. Whilst he`s able to welcome back Matt Jarvis, after the winger missed the last fixture, he`ll still be without Jack Collison (knee), Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder) and Yossi Benayoun (shin).
Player to watch: Andy Carroll
This, I promise you, will be the fixture that the big striker gets to finally score that first goal for the Hammers.
Match Facts & Stats
The record books show that we don`t usually fare well against Spurs. Up at White Hart Lane, we`ve not won in our last ten Premier League visits, losing six times and drawing four times.
If we look at fixtures both home and away, then it`s only marginally better with Spurs having won seven, two matches being drawn and a solitary West Ham win.
Time to change that then!
Our referee for this fixture will be Andre Marriner.
West Ham have already shown that they fear nobody in the Premier League and the fine win, away to Newcastle, showed that we can win away from home when faced with a stern challenge. Can we win at White Hart Lane? Of course we can, butt it`ll be tight and decided by a solitary goal.
It`s another fascinating fixture, next time out, when we travel to Old Trafford this Wednesday evening to face Manchester United.