Comment by Abigail Withey
West Ham host Tottenham on Friday knowing that the visitors will be aiming for all three points as they look to close the gap with Chelsea to just one point at the top of the league.
Although West Ham manager Slavan Bilic said that his side had to prepare to play the “best team in the Premier League” earlier in the week, he will be happy seeing the end of what’s been a troublesome season.
Spurs are brimming with confidence at the moment, following their North London win on Sunday, so West Ham will have to pull out all the stops to reach the safety of 40 points on Friday night.
Here’s what you can expect to see from West Ham’s Premier League clash with Tottenham:
Hammers to make Spurs shake
The Hammers have switched up at the back to create a new dynamic and playing with three centre-backs seems to have worked.
This has particularly had an effect on Fonte, who now seems a lot more relaxed and in control following a rocky start since joining in January.
Fonte seems to flourish when surrounded by players consistently performing, so working alongside the likes of Winston Reid and James Collins has helped the 33 year-old.
They’ve now kept two clean sheets in a row and Fonte will be looking to make it three on Friday night. Expect it to be tighter than Spurs would be hoping for.
Kane to score
Everyone knows that Harry Kane is on top form at the moment and is showing his confidence, particularly after his goal in Tottenham’s derby win on Sunday.
Impressively, Kane has already scored 21 goals in the league, including three goals in his last four appearances, and he will hope to continue his goal-scoring form at the London Stadium.
Fonte, Reid, and Collins will be doing their best to keep three consecutive clean sheets, but it will take a miracle to stop Kane completely.
West Ham could also get on the score sheet though, with their talismanic and injury-prone striker Andy Carroll hoping to make an appearance on Friday, following his groin injury which has seen him on the sidelines since April.
He probably won’t start but if he gets a chance from the bench we expect him to make it an uncomfortable night for Spurs.
The Hammers will be positive against Spurs under the guidance of their manager, Bilic.
After their goalless draw with Stoke last weekend, Bilic said to the BBC: “We are now four games unbeaten and we are going to approach the remainder of the season in a positive way.”
Last season Bilic guided the Hammers to seventh as they said goodbye to Upton Park, but this year has been a little harder, with a move to the London Stadium and disruptions from Dimitri Payet causing problems early on.
This is why Bilic and his squad must remain positive. The team aren’t completely out of relegation territory, and have a difficult few games ahead.
More importantly though, the remaining results could have a huge impact on the future of Bilic at West Ham. Despite seemingly not having a lot to play for, we expect the team to rally round Bilic and fight for his life.
Remaining unbeaten will further strengthen the side, boost confidence, and perhaps even save Bilic’s position.
Football Insider verdict: West Ham 1-2 Tottenham
In other West Ham news, Adrian adds further spice to Tottenham clash against West Ham.