Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham United
Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Two proud football clubs but also two names which conjure loathing between rival supporters.
Both sets of supporters dislike their rivals with a passion and my word it has resulted in some fierce clashes down the years.
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The Premier League era has done little to ease that tension.
They may only be 12 miles apart but a rivalry stretching back to the late 1890 cannot be rewritten.
Just ask any players of yesteryear or modern day who have played for both clubs – Jimmy Greaves, Martin Peters, Les Ferdinand, Michael Carrick and Jermain Defoe to name a few – to share their experiences.
Their meetings have produced Premier League highlights aplenty over the years and this contest could be yet another.
The importance is unlikely to be lost either on bosses Mauricio Pochettino or Manuel Pellegrini who will likely have been told about the rivalry soon after their respective appointments.
Form suggests a home banker.
West Ham’s last two outings have resulted in one point and lots of frustration.
Only the woodwork and brilliance of David de Gea prevented them from getting at least a point at Old Trafford and they then conceded a last-gasp equaliser at home to Leicester last weekend, again a match in which they should have collected more than a point.
Three defeats and one draw in four games have possibly ruined their chances of a seventh place finish, not that Pellegrini will give up on that now Michail Antonio has returned and if the inconsistent Marko Arnautovic can show his effective side.
Spurs, meanwhile, are thriving, just edged out at champions Manchester City on Easter Saturday, days after seeing off the same opponents in a Champions League thriller.
West Ham would love to rain on Spurs’ parade and inflict a first defeat on them at their new stadium, yet even against a side missing their captain Harry Kane, they will need to improve defensively.
Since the turn of the year, the Hammers have leaked 26 goals in just 16 games, including at least two goals in each of their last six Premier League games and their record since the turn of the year is particularly poor.
Improve that and they may just cause a surprise.
Aside from a fierce rivalry, this is a history steeped in tradition, prestige and attacking football.
West Ham have proven a bit of a bogey for Spurs in big games over the last decade or so (both Premier League and League Cup), although you have to go back to October 2013 to the last time they defeated Tottenham on their own turf in the top flight.
On that occasion, a 3-0 win was secured by goals from Winston Reid, Ricardo Vaz Te and Ravel Morrison – remember him? – in a blistering 13 minute spell.
That remains their only league victory at Spurs since 1999 when, among the young Hammers’ line-up that day, were young guns Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard and veteran forward Ian Wright.
Spurs are chasing a treble over West Ham this term having already won twice at the London Stadium this season.
An Erik Lamela goal settled the Premier League contest in October before they repeated the victory just over a week later with a 3-1 success in the League Cup, courtesy of Son Heung-Min (two) and Fernando Llorente.
Traditionally, Spurs have won 96 of their meetings with West Ham winning 63 and the other 52 ending with honours even.
|Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham United||First Half Asian Handicap Tottenham Hotspur -0.75 @ 2.35|
|April 27 19:30 (GMT+8)|
Spurs are firm favourites with 1X2 odds on offer @ 1.44 in contrast to West Ham @ 7.00.
The draw @ 4.30 will appeal, however, especially with the pride of a London derby at stake and Spurs also forgiven for perhaps having one eye on their Champions League semi-final against Ajax little over 72 hours later.
Premier League betting odds with Asian Handicap also favour the home side, priced -1.25 @ 1.97, compared to the Hammers +1.00 @ 2.28.
I must admit that under 3.00 goal @ 2.07 has caught my eye, as has Double Chance West Ham or Draw @ 2.65.
It’s interesting to look at the total goal options too – 0-1 @ 5.20, 2-3 @ 2.11 and 4-6 @ 2.53.
The law of probabilities suggest Spurs will not beat West Ham three times in the same campaign, yet I do expect them to edge this.
I think they will want to try and get the game sewn up as quickly as possible too, given their upcoming semi-final.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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