West Ham United - Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Visitors look to stretch impressive unbeaten run

Mauricio Pochettino and his Tottenham side make the short trip to East London on Wednesday evening hoping to consolidate their position towards the top of the Premier League table.

West Ham United - Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Visitors look to stretch impressive unbeaten run
photo; vavel

Tottenham Hotspur face West Ham United on Wednesday evening, in one of the most important fixtures between the two clubs in recent memory.

Tottenham head into a decisive week, with Arsenal up next on Saturday, sitting in second place in the Premier League table following an outstanding season so far.

Sunday’s 2-1 win over Swansea City saw the side from North London move three points above their fierce rivals Arsenal with just eleven games remaining.

Thanks to a late Danny Rose winner, Tottenham have now won six league games in a row to further demonstrate their title credentials in what has been one of the most unpredictable seasons since the Barclays Premier League was created.

That unpredictability has seen Slaven Bilic’s West Ham side move up to sixth, with a push for European football next season now a real possibility. 

Following their narrow win over relegation threatened Sunderland at the weekend, the Hammers sit just four points behind Manchester City in the final Champions League spot, and just one behind Manchester United in the Europa League place.

Despite England’s elite competition throwing up more shocks than ever before, Tottenham and West Ham have both found some rare consistency to offer their fans belief as the season heads into the business end.

Last time they met

In the first contest between the two sides this season, at White Hart Lane in November, the hosts ran out comfortable winners in a 4-1 demolition of their London rivals.

Goals by Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld gave the home side a substantial lead going into the break following some breathtaking football in the opening 45 minutes.

The bombardment of Adrián in the West Ham goal continued to prove relentless and Spurs added two more goals, thanks to Kane again and Kyle Walker, without answer.

The visitors gave their fans something to cheer in the 87th minute, when Manuel Lanzini capitalised on a Walker mistake to fire past Hugo Lloris to scrap any hopes of a clean sheet for the hosts.

Harry Kane celebrates scoring against West Ham in November (photo: getty)
Harry Kane celebrates scoring against West Ham in November (photo: getty)

Team News

James Tomkins and Enner Valencia remain out for the Hammers following long term injuries, whilst Sam Byram is suspended and also misses out. The good news for Bilic, however, is that Senegalese international striker Diafra Sakho is close to full fitness and may make the substitutes bench following a lay-off. 

Probable line-up: Adrián; Antionio, Tomkins, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Song, Kouyaté, Noble; Lanzini, Carroll, Payet

Tottenham remain without the injured trio of Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembélé and Clinton N’Jie, although all three could return in the next few weeks. Dele Alli faces a late fitness test following a minor injury in the warm up against Swansea but could feature from the bench is deemed necessary by Pochettino.

Probable line-up: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Davies; Dier, Mason; Lamela, Eriksen, Son; Kane

A season defining game

With both sides flying high in the league, the two sets of fans and players will be well aware of the potential effects if the result doesn't go their way.

West Ham and Tottenham will both view the remaining games in the season as eleven cup finals, with both having a real chance of achieving something substantial come the end of the season. 

Manchester City against Liverpool may receive all of the attention this week, but it is the contest at Upton Park for one final time which could prove decisive come May.