Venue: Upton Park
Date: Monday 25th February
West Ham United’s defensive duo of James Collins and Joey O’Brien should be fit enough to play some part with O’Brien likely to start on the bench for the Hammers. The Iron will definitely be without George McCartney, however, as he is still struggling with a hamstring injury.
Tottenham are likely to recall Hugo Lloris and Michael Dawson after they were rested for Thursdays late show in the Europa League but it is still too early for Jermain Defoe and his ankle injury will keep him out again. Sandro and Tom Huddlestone still remain sidelined for the long term with knee injuries.
This match falls as West Ham commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the death of England World Cup winning captain and Hammers immortal, Bobby Moore. This, along with the fact that West Ham’s home form has been solid, should make for a tricky encounter for Champions League chasing Tottenham.
The home side were excellent last time they played at Upton Park, defeating Swansea 1-0 and Sam Allardyce will be looking to make East London a fortress for the rest of the season in order to relieve some of the pressure he is under. Their midfield is key, with Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan and Joe Cole needing to be creative and disciplined to feed Andy Carroll and January singing Emmanuel Pogatetz will need to be on his game to deal with Gareth Bale.
Spurs are chasing 4th place and they are unlikely to let their guard down here, even after a hard battle against Lyon on Thursday. Gareth Bale has scored Tottenham’s last 4 Premier League goals and is probably the most in-form player in the country at the moment; if West Ham do not find a way to contain him, then this one is a formality. Adebayor, Lennon and Dembele will provide support for the man of the moment in a potent looking line up that the West Ham defence could struggle to keep at bay. Andy Carroll has the potential to cause Spurs some problems so they will need to be strong at the back .
Spurs are in brilliant form at the moment and are strong favourites under the lights and Upton Park but the spirit of Bobby Moore will be sure to push West Ham on; it’s a difficult one to call.
Likely Line Ups
West Ham United (4-4-1-1): Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Tomkins, Collins, Pogatetz, Cole, Diame, Noble, Taylor, Nolan, Carroll
Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Naughton, Holtby, Parker, Bale, Dembele, Lennon, Adebayor
source – bbc sport
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