West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Schedule shift allows Spurs to turn up heat

West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Schedule shift allows Spurs to turn up heat

One of the final London derbies of the season takes place on Friday evening.

Oliver Emmerson

Some rare Premier League football on a Friday night will give Tottenham Hotspur a chance to narrow the gap on Chelsea to just one points as the title race continues. 

Spurs travel to London rivals West Ham United with the chance to really ramp up the pressure on Antonio Conte's men, something that the Hammers will be determined to stop them doing.

Only one favourite

Despite West Ham having home advantage as they host Tottenham for the first time at the London Stadium, there's only one favourite for this one.

Having won nine straight Premier League games, Spurs have raced clear of all those below them bar the Blues, with Liverpool's victory over them at Anfield the last time they dropped points.

Last season, when chasing Leicester City, Tottenham would often be faced with the task of playing after the Foxes on any particular weekend. That has been the case often in recent weeks, but reverses this weekend as Chelsea must wait until Monday night when they play Middlesbrough.

What have West Ham got to play for? 

West Ham's first season in their new ground hasn't gone quite according to plan, with Slaven Bilic's men not quite at the 40 point mark yet. 

Still, seven points clear of the drop with three games to go, they've done just enough to secure another year with their Premier League status in tact. 

The fans are growing frustrated though, having seen their side win just one of their last eleven fixtures. Rumours of a summer move for Daniel Sturridge have provided some antidote, whilst a victory against Spurs would go even further to subsiding any doubts over Bilic and co. 

Injuries and rumours create a sideshow

Danny Rose is on his way back for Tottenham but won't be available on Friday. 

On the other flank, it'll be interesting to see whether or not Kyle Walker is selected, with rumours about a potential summer move to Manchester City conflicting with the right-back being on the bench for last weekend's North London Derby. 

Erik Lamela, Harry Winks and Cameron Carter-Vickers remain sidelined. 

For West Ham, there are still some doubts due to both Andy Carroll and Arthur Masuaku facing late fitness tests. 

As far as their 'out for the season' list goes, Diafra Sakho, Michail Antonio and Pedro Obiang are the unfortunate souls who make that list.