West Ham United have lifted themselves off the foot of the Premier League table with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa during the last match weekend. They will need all the momentum they can muster here as they host a Tottenham squad that is purring along nicely in the Premier League.
History suggests that West Ham has a good chance of victory. The Irons have won their past two home matches against Spurs in the league.
Those two victories both came in 2021, as David Moyes led his side to 2-1 and 1-0 wins over their rivals in the North.
In an interesting stat, but one that ultimately doesn’t hold a lot of weight, West Ham is very impressive on Wednesdays. The Hammers have lost just once in their previous seven fixtures played on hump day.
Tottenham at West Ham FYIs
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Kick-off: Sunday, Aug 31, 7:45 pm local, London Stadium
Google Result Probability: West Ham victory 26% Draw 26% Tottenham victory 48%
Defensive options Nayef Aguerd and Craig Dawson both remain unavailable for selection. This week they are joined by Ben Johnson, who came off during the first half of the Hammers win against Villa with a tight hamstring.
Aaron Cresswell had a tight groin after the Villa match and his fitness is being assessed as well.
Aguerd and Dawson definitely won’t play. We rate Cresswell and Johnson as 50/50 chances.
Starting XI Prediction
I am predicting David Moyes will do away with the three-man defense experiment. That means a return to the shape that brought his squad so much success in the last two seasons.
Lukasz Fabianski holds on to his spot in goals after keeping a clean sheet versus Villa. Alphonse Areola is still breathing down his neck and looking to pounce on any mistakes the Pole might make.
Kurt Zouma will have a new partner this week. And that will be Italian veteran central defender Angelo Ogbonna. Vlad Coufal returns to the first team as well. This time at left back, as Thilo Kehrer starts at right back.
Tomáš Soucek and Declan Rice form the base of a more familiar looking midfield shape. Last week’s hero Pablo Fornals starts just ahead of them.
Gianluca Scamacca starts as the number nine as he looks to get the ‘first Premier League goal’ bogey off his back. Jarrod Bowen starts to his right.
Why Max Cornet has not started for the Hammers yet, I do not know. The time is now. He is a top class player. He can make a vast difference to this squad if unleashed. So I am predicting Moyes unleashes Max this week against Spurs.
Stuey’s Two Cents
Don’t get it twisted. These two sides hate each other, and this will be a bitter London derby. It will be interesting to see if West Ham can rise to the occasion, or if Spurs’ quality will prove too great.
There is a lot riding on this for West Ham and their supporters. If the players can’t get up for this one, it could be a long season ahead. A win here and the trajectory of the Irons season could completely transform.
I see the former as being much more likely than the latter. Spurs are simply too good. Sorry Hammers fans.
Stuart Kavanagh is a journalist currently residing in Broken Hill, Australia. He writes for the Barrier Truth newspaper, along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, He also co-hosts the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast and contributes at edgeofthecrowd.com when time permits.
Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.Follow paulmbanks