CHRIS Graham (@chrisgraham79) previews the Friday night game between West Ham and Tottenham.
West Ham v Tottenham | Friday 20:00| Sky Sports 1
Spurs smashed through one long-standing hurdle on Sunday when they beat Arsenal at White Hart Lane to cement a higher finishing position than their rivals for the first time in 22 years. Now they have to reach again and see off a side who hold no affection for them, West Ham.
A win on Friday would see Tottenham move within one point of Chelsea, the closest they’ve been to the top spot since October. It would also pile some pressure on Chelsea over the next few days as they face Middlesbrough on Monday.
It’s 10 wins out of 11 for Tottenham since late-February (the exception being the FA Cup defeat to Chelsea where they emerged with credit).
Spurs staying on track
I had a feeling towards the start of April that Spurs might start to feel the pace a little. They had scraped past Swansea and had been workmanlike in late March but instead they cranked up another gear.
Watford and Bournemouth were torn apart 4-0 while Arsenal were convincingly beaten on Sunday. The only sluggish performance was against Crystal Palace where they emerged with a 1-0 win.
It may be that the adrenaline of the North London derby had them fizzing last weekend and I get the feeling we’ll see a more Palace like performance on Friday.
Spurs have a questionable record against West Ham. In this decade their figures read P12 W5 D2 L5 and there seems a genuine hatred towards them coming from the Eastenders. They’d love to derail their title hopes you get the impression.
West Ham have been poor this season in comparison to their great campaign last term and you’d have to fear for Slaven Bilic’s future.
Injection of spunk for West Ham?
Their season has been summed up by poor spells at the start and end of the campaign. The Hammers have won just one of their last 11 league games although they are unbeaten in their last four.
They look a bit bored, flat and jaded but this match is sure to give them a bit of spunk I’d like to think. A draw or win is surely going to be enough to secure a place in next season’s top flight.
As always, price is vitally important and Spurs look to be going off around 2/5 which is mighty short. That immediately offers options to get with West Ham at their bulky price of 17/2.
Backing them +1.5 on the Asian Handicap appeals at a shade of odds on but instead I’ll take the Evens on both teams scoring. West Ham are capable of stressing out Spurs.
West Ham v Tottenham – Both Teams To Score (Evens Bet Stars)