The final game of the Saturday schedule sees a London derby between Tottenham and West Ham, it seems London derby’s are going to be a familiar theme as of late for Mauricio Pochettino as this is the second of three successive Captial head to heads
Tottenham ran out comfortable 4-1 winners in this fixture last season and they will hope that this is the game that ends their run of 7 games without a win in all competitions with their last 4 Premier League fixtures resulting in draws and all manner of lost points.
Their last activity before the international break was a well earned point away at Arsenal a game that both sides would have been happy to get a draw but disappointed not to go on and win the game. That encounter saw the return of Harry Kane and it was his spot kick that drew the two sides level.
Kane was sent back early from England duty in a bid to get him to full fitness for this evening. Whether he plays the full 90 minutes remains to be seen but he will certainly be ready from the start and looking to once again torment the West Ham defence.
And it is a defence that has gone through quite a lot of torment so far this season with The Hammers currently sitting in 17th at the start of the weekend. There is every chance that they could even start the game in the bottom three should Hull pick up a win at struggling Sunderland.
Before the international break Slaven Bilic’s men had to make do with a point at home to Stoke. After going ahead through a Glen Whelan own goal they were then foiled in their bid for victory as Bojan slotted home into an empty net after a rush of blood from Spanish goalkeeper Adrian.
After back to back wins against Crystal Palace and Sunderland they have failed to win their last two with an away defeat to Everton proceeding the Stoke fixture. Slaven Bilic has adpated to a 3-4-3 formation but unlike Antonio Conte at Chelsea he hasn’t quite been able to turn West Ham’s fortunes around.
The main stumbling block for West Ham has once again been a lack of goals with the East London side only averaging a goal a game so far this season and you get the feeling that January can’t come soon enough for that is when Bilic can add some reinforcements to his forward line.
Much has been made of Tottenham’s lack of goals but in their defence it has been the defence which has been a one of the key features of this side, the fact that they have only conceded 6 goals so far this season certainly cannot be overlooked.
It’s also no coincidence that the last two of Spurs fixtures have failed to see them keep clean sheets and that is in no small part down to the absence of Toby Alderweireld. Spurs have just lacked a little bit of cohesion at the back without him and they will hope that he is fit enough to start this evening.
They will also hope that Dele Alli is fit enough to start after suffering an injury in training previous to the North London Derby. The England international had to miss the games that encounter with Arsenal as well as international duty against Scotland and Spain.
Tottenham now find themselves 5th in the table and although that unbeaten run is still intact they have probably got a few too many draws for their liking and need to get back to winning ways to make sure that no more daylight is put between themselves and the top four
I think this evening will see Tottenham return to winning ways after a not so magnificent seven matches where they have failed to win. A London derby can always be feisty and the form book can have a habit of going out of the window but I think Spurs just have that extra quality to see them pick up a home win.