Spurs to provide Hammer blow

  • By: David John
  • Last Updated: February 23 2013, 15:38 GMT

David John says Tottenham can collect three more points when they travel to West Ham in the Premier League on Monday night.

Tottenham; Should be backed for success in East London
Tottenham; Should be backed for success in East London

West Ham v Tottenham (2000GMT)

There should be a tremendous atmosphere at the Boleyn on Monday night as the Hammers celebrate Bobby Moore's contribution to club and country on the 20th anniversary of his untimely death.

Sam Allardyce's side have shown their best form this season at home having collected six out of eight wins this season and they will be desperate to put in a performance on what will be an emotional night.

But since an impressive victory over Chelsea early in December, West Ham's form has been rather erratic while managing to mix in enough wins with the less stellar displays to keep them safely in mid-table.

The manager has a near fully-fit squad to select from but he has bemoaned the fact that the situation would have been more useful at the end of last year with a rash of fixtures taking place.

He now faces a quirk of the calendar though which sees West Ham play just three times more between now and April 7.

Even if West Ham do rise to the occasion, their intrinsic unpredictability of late looks worth challenging and the visitors get the nod at 5/4 to keep up their push for a top-four berth.

In campaigns gone by, this would be exactly the sort of fixture Spurs would slip up in but Andre Villas-Boas seems to have instilled an added belief in his players.

That was highlighted in midweek with a late equaliser in Lyon to secure progress in the Europa League and a run of just one defeat - in the FA Cup at Leeds - in 14 outings suggests Spurs really believe they can sustain a challenge for a Champions League place next season.

Thwarting Arsenal in the process is added motivation and the formbook also suggests Tottenham have the upper hand in this fixture with wins in eight of their last 11 encounters, three coming at this venue.

Striker Jermain Defoe will still be sidelined with ankle ligament damage but Clint Dempsey, Mousa Dembele and the omnipotent Gareth Bale pose more than enough threat to convert the chances that Spurs readily create.

Tottenham have won but four times from six games this season after matches in the Europa League so have proven they don't necessarily suffer anything in the way of a hangover.

An extra day to recover won't go amiss either in the grand scheme of things and they should be backed to put a dampener on West Ham's evening.

Verdict: West Ham 1 Tottenham 2

  • Preview posted at 1525 GMT on 23/02/2013.