By Antony Jordan
The festive football programme from the Premier League comes to a close this Thursday evening as Tottenham and West Ham play their second matches within 48 hours. The home side can move to within a point of the top four with victory in this game in hand, while the guests at Wembley will move to 11th with all three points. There is plenty to play for, but who’ll triumph in this final EPL game of the Christmas and New Year period?
We preview this clash with online sportsbook Intertops.eu to bring you our best EPL Super Pick from this Thursday night action!
The only issue that Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has for this 22nd match of the season is it comes a little too early for defender Toby Alderweireld as the Belgian has not yet fully recovered from a hamstring injury he picked up at the start of November. He may return later this month at the start of February, but this match with West Ham is just too soon. Harry Kane was rested for much of the match against Swansea on Tuesday night so he’ll be desperate to start again and hopefully return to scoring ways that have seen hat-tricks scored in both of the last two matches he has begun the match.
The Hammers have more to worry about for this match than their hosts as they are missing some big players from all over the pitch. Jose Fonte is still recovering from his ankle injury and is certain to miss this match while Michail Antonio and Sam Byram are very much on the mend they are still doubts and may miss this match also. Despite these losses there were no major injuries sustained as they hosted West Brom on Tuesday night so manager David Moyes will be looking to build from there with the players he has at his disposal.
Tottenham faced a tough time in some terrible weather on Tuesday night at Swansea, but they still managed to secure a 2-0 victory to leave them fifth in the EPL table. This win was their sixth win in their last seven matches in all competitions and as they welcome West Ham they have only been defeated by Man City since the end of November. At Wembley they have suffered just a single defeat in the EPL this season and just two losses in all competitions, although the second of these was a 3-2 defeat at hands of this evening’s opposition in the Carabao Cup where they threw away a two goal lead. This, coupled with just three clean sheets in their last nine matches on home soil, will certainly give Tottenham something to think about for this match, but can they continue their fine form with another win?
West Ham have won just one of their last four matches as they arrive at the home of English football, but the fact that this came on Tuesday night and they bounced back from losing at half time to score an injury time winner to move out of the relegation zone will surely boost David Moyes’ men. The problem is that this victory came on home soil and they have managed just a single EPL victory away from home all season, although single goal defeats at Man City and Arsenal show that they have got enough to push the bigger teams all the way.
Both meetings between these sides this season have seen the away side secure a 3-2 victory as Tottenham managed the feat in September in the EPL before The Hammers repeated that scoreline on this ground a month later in the cup. Prior to this, things had gone the way of the home side as the previous four matches between these sides this season saw the home side take all three points and games where Tottenham are the home side have seen plenty of goals scored too.
There have been at least three goals in each of the last seven meetings between the teams at White Hart Lane and Wembley, and with both of these sides having plenty of confidence for this match we can see goals being scored again between the sides.