As Esther Phillips so beautifully sang, “What a Difference a Day Makes” and the proof is in the pudding at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Poch is gone; the King is dead, long live the King!
Enter stage right, Jose Mourinho. The theatrics surrounding Saturday’s game at West Ham United turned up one louder with the big top which houses the media circus erected. The usual clowns are in town, seeing the hyperbole cranked up to eleven.
But in reality, this is an intriguing appointment. Mourinho isn’t noted for the aesthetic qualities of his teams and Tottenham’s reputation is built on stylish football; something has to give.
West Ham United provide his first opposition in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off which gives the Portuguese next to no time in which to put his ideas across to a Spurs side struggling for form.
Fortunately, the Hammers are struggling more than his new charges. It seems unlikely that Manuel Pellegrini’s team put the damper on a new Tottenham era but…
As ever, our West Ham United vs Tottenham predictions foresee a feisty London derby and football wisdom has it that the formbook goes out of the window. If that’s the case, we might see a good game!
No quarter will be asked and none given as the two teams seek the better times our 2019 Premier League predictions.
West Ham United vs Tottenham Predictions
Amid the brouhaha, there is a football match to be played. Not just any old game but a London derby riven with niggling rivalry which usually spills out onto the pitch. Michael Oliver has yet to brandish a red card in his ten Premier League matches this season but is sure to add to the 34 yellow cards he has shown.
Jose Mourinho is, as ever, the talk of the town. Daniel Levy acted relatively swiftly to end Mauricio Pochettino’s reign when it became apparent the club was collapsing in on itself. The dressing room fracture spilt onto the pitch and Tottenham couldn’t recover.
The Portuguese must pick up the pieces. It isn’t an unusual situation for him but arguably, he is the least obvious appointment. A man whose record is littered with divisiveness doesn’t seem the obvious candidate to bring unity.
Yet that is exactly what he has done in the short-term at his previous jobs. More importantly for a club who habitually flatter to deceive, Mourinho is a serial winner. He has won more English league titles in two decades as a coach than Spurs have in close to 140 years of existence. If anyone can instil the winning mentality he can.
But what can he do in three days? Last time out, Sheffield United left north London feeling aggrieved at taking just one point. It took Spurs to one win in six (D3, L2) and without a clean sheet in the last seven in the Premier League (W1, D3).
Away from home, it’s worse. Tottenham’s last Premier League away win came at Fulham on 20th January 2019 (D3, L9). This season, it’s three draws and three defeats; no clean sheets. The last one of those on the road came on 1st January at Cardiff City Stadium. It’s not a good look for Tottenham to wear.
Especially after last season’s Champions League exploits. Expectations were high before the season began but now those have plummeted. Therein is Mourinho’s biggest task.
He must, first of all, seal the leaky defence. Only at Arsenal and Manchester City (both finished 2 – 2) have Spurs scored more than once. If you score just one goal, conceding in every game causes problems. So far, only Everton have failed to score more than one goal when Spurs came visiting.
Luckily, the Hammers defence is porous. They conceded three in the last pair of Premier League outings with no clean sheets in the last six.
At the London Stadium, West Ham are winless in three (D1, L2). However, The Hammers have lost only three of their last 10 London derbies at home (W4, D3) although two of those defeats came at the hands of Spurs.
Pellegrini’s team conceded an average of two in each of the last three with Lukas Fabianski’s injury costing them dear. Roberto is proving an inconsistent understudy which offers Tottenham’s goal-shy attack cause for optimism.
It’s that defensive weakness which sees these West Ham United vs Tottenham predictions plump for an away win.
West Ham United vs Tottenham Head to Head
In the previous 212 meetings between the two sides, Spurs are comfortably ahead with 96 wins to West Ham’s 64. The remaining 52 games finished all-square.
Tottenham have found recent trips to London’s East End enjoyable, winning the last three and twice scoring three goals including last season’s 3 – 1 win in the League Cup.
The Premier League is not so clear cut; Tottenham have won the last two – Erik Lamela scored the only goal at the London Stadium last season – but the last eight at West Ham saw the two clubs trade wins, finishing with four apiece.
That’s the general theme between the two. The last 10 meetings, home and away, saw West Ham win four and draw one with Tottenham claiming five wins.
West Ham United Team News
Mark Noble is set to hand Manuel Pellegrini a boost by declaring himself fit for this match. Reports suggest the midfield stalwart has shaken off a sprained ankle and will be ready to spoil Jose Mourinho’s party. Mikhail Antonio is expected to shake off a thigh injury.
Lukasz Fabianski is ruled out with a thigh injury while Manuel Lanzini is out following surgery on his broken collarbone.
Jack Wilshere is unsurprisingly a doubt for this match with West Ham promising street parties if the former England midfielder manages to stay fit for a fortnight.
Tottenham Team News
How much impact can a manager have in a couple of days? His XI will be impacted by injury with Tanguy Ndombele a doubt after suffering a groin injury against Sheffield United although the midfielder is expected to recover.
Hugo Lloris is out until January so Paolo Gazzaniga retains his place between the sticks while Jan Vertonghen remains sidelined. Erik Lamela is rated 50:50 to be fit following a thigh injury.
West Ham United vs Tottenham Betting Tips
Anyone looking beyond a Spurs win will be rewarded handsomely in Novibet’s matchday odds.
Tottenham are 39/50 favourites with West Ham United out at 33/10 with the draw at 31/10. The last time it finished all-square between these two at West Ham was 25th November 2007.
Presuming Spurs stay away from a pre-match lasagne, Jose Mourinho’s record in his opening games for new clubs is impressive. The Portuguese hasn’t lost any of his first four games at Porto, Inter, Real Madrid, Manchester United and both Chelsea spells, winning 19 of those 24 matches.