West Ham v Spurs Preview

English Premier League | Saturday 16 August | Boleyn Ground | 16:00

Mauricio Pochettino’s first competitive game in charge of Tottenham Hotspur is a daunting trip to East London to take on Sam Allardyce’s new-look West Ham side at the Boleyn Ground Stadium on Saturday. The Hammers have a surprisingly excellent recent record against their neighbours, having beaten them in their last three encounters, with two of those wins coming at White Hart Lane. Spurs will be aiming for a Champions League spot after falling short last season and will be hoping to start their campaign on a high with a derby win.

To Win (90mins)
West Ham 24/10
Draw 24/10
Spurs 21/20


Big Sam will be entering a baptism of fire this season unless he evolves the Hammers’ disturbingly attritional style we witnessed last season.

Although the record books show a 13th place finish last season, those who endured the journey will remember it wasn’t a lot of fun.

Fan grievances were aired – never more publicly than at the Hull game, and as a result, change was promised. And lo and behold, the club is proving as good as its word.

Whilst the arrival of Mauro Zarate and Cheikhou Kouyate means West Ham have added two players with major big league experience, it is the arrival of a couple of home-grown talents that really suggest a more open minded approach to what lies ahead.

In left-back Aaron Cresswell – a position West Ham have had problems with for a couple of years now - they look to have got hold of a player of real quality, and at £2million he could turn out to be an absolute bargain.

Not only is he good, but in three years the 24-year-old missed just eight games, being an ever-present in 2012-13 for Ipswich.

Signed from Charlton Athletic, Diego Poyet is another great addition to the squad. The midfielder is only 19, with half a season of first team football to his name, but the buzz around his arrival at the club suggests that he is someone who is capable of doing much, much more.

The Hammers’ biggest signing is Ecuador striker Enner Valencia. This year, Valencia has been on a roll, bagging 18 goals in 23 appearances for Pachuca, but it was most likely his goal in Ecuador’s World Cup warm-up game against England – when, encouragingly for West Ham fans, he beat Manchester United new-boy Luke Shaw to a far post header – that really set the radar off.

He could cause a number of problems for Spurs’ nervy defence and will be Allardyce’s main striker in the absence of Andy Carroll. Carroll will miss up to four months with ankle ligament damage he suffered in pre-season training.


Pochettino’s first game in charge as Tottenham manager is a daunting task given their neighbours’ impressive record against them.

The former Southampton manager has demonstrated that he's more than capable of handling an inherited squad. And not only that, but he's proven that he knows how to get the best out of his players.

And with Tottenham in the middle of a transitional period, Pochettino has the skill set to once more work his magic to get them playing to their potential as a unit.

From being the biggest spenders last season, Spurs were quiet this window only making three signings in Michel Vorm and Ben Davies both from Swansea City aswell as Eric Dier who signed from Sporting Lisbon.

Pochettino now manages a group of players that are, broadly, the most talented that he has ever had at his disposal. Tottenham lacked any kind of identity last season and were often without any kind of plan on the pitch.

Pochettino's teams are aggressive and direct, and his players must sacrifice themselves to achieve his vision. If they buy in to his demanding style of play, they will undoubtedly progress beyond the wandering sixth place achieved last season.

Erik Lamela will be hoping to convince his fellow countryman that he should be in the side this season. He barely played last season due to injury and his challenge will be to break into what is becoming a well-established group of midfielders at White Hart Lane.

Spurs’ Player of the Year last season, Christian Eriksen will be looking to try hassle and hurry West Ham’s players whilst, on occasions, look for that killer final pass. Eriksen’s movement and forward bursts allow him to get up the field.

He is an effective dribbler with the ball at his feet, which means he can also get in to positions to cut it back once he has accelerated through the defence.

Emmanuel Adebayor was Spurs’ top scorer last season, netting 11 league goals and that was a good tally considering that he was only drafted back into the first team when Tim Sherwood took over halfway through the season.

Kyle Walker missed the World Cup with England through injury but he should be very determined to hit the ground running ahead of the new season.

Betting Verdict: WEST HAM 24/10 
West Ham will be looking for their fourth consecutive win against Tottenham in this London derby. Andy Carroll, who has played a significant part of the Hammers’ dominance over Spurs will be missed but Enner Valencia will relish the chance of leading the attack. Pochettino may still be finding his feet as he takes charge of his first competitive game as Spurs boss and West Ham should take full advantage of that. The home win is tipped.

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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