West Ham United will continue their surge to enter the top half of the table when they play hosts to Tottenham Hotspurs who are playing for a top four spot. The game is scheduled to take place at Boleyn Ground on February 25 at 2000 GMT.
The Hammers’ will hope to have Wales defender James Collins back to the first squad. Collins was out for the last six games but is likely only to make a substitute appearance.
Joey O’Brien and George McCartney are definitely set to miss out on this game as they haven’t recovered from their respective injuries. Rest of the squad is fully fit but have been off their game giving manager Sam Allardyce nightmares.
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas will miss star striker Jermain Defoe and midfielder Tom Huddlestone for this trip. Long-term absentee Younes Kaboul is close to a return and could feature on the bench. New keeper Hugo Lloris is expected to replace Brad Friedel in goal after the latter played in the Europa League.
Gareth Bale is still expected to play upfront in a central role as the Welsh speedster has netted six out of the team’s last eight goals. Emanuel Adebayor will have his work cut out playing as a lone striker.
Spurs have been solid at the back as well. They have conceded more than one goal only on one occasion out the last 13 games, an impressive feat for the North Londoners.
The Hammers have managed to win only one game in their last six, a run of form that needs to change. On the other hand, Spurs have not lost a game in their last 10 league games, definite favourites entering this away game.
Andy Carroll will play an important role in this game as the big centre forward will need to bring his ‘A’ game to the field. Joe Cole’s midfield awareness and experience combined with Matt Jarvis’s speed will also be very important.
Spurs will know exactly what they need to do in their game as they play a late game on Monday
Expected Line ups:
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Reid, Tomkins, Taylor, Noble, Diame, Joe Cole, Nolan, Jarvis and Carroll
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Parker, Dembele, Lennon, Holtby, Bale and Adebayor
Prediction: West Ham 0-2 Tottenham