THE Premier League continues on Thursday evening as Tottenham Hotspur welcome West Ham to Wembley. Ben Levene (@BenLevene96) shares his best bets
Tottenham v West Ham| Thursday 4th January 2018, 20:00 | Sky Sports
To end the much talked about congested festive period, West Ham travel to London-rivals Tottenham this Thursday night.
Defiant West Ham
Spurs come into this game on the back of three-consecutive wins, including a 2-0 win away to Swansea in treacherous conditions just 48-hours ago. At Wembley Spurs have won three on the bounce and will approach this with more confidence than they would have a few months ago.
But West Ham won’t be rollovers. The Hammers have lost just one of their last six, coming away from games against Chelsea and Arsenal unscathed. David Moyes’ side also put in a valiant display away at Man City where they were able to frustrate for long-periods.
A slow burner?
In those games against top six opposition under Moyes (City, Chelsea and Arsenal), the Hammers have sat deep and looked to utilise the pace of Marko Arnautovic on the counter. Michail Antonio is out for Thursday, but nonetheless the approach should be the same. Each of those games saw under 1.5 first-half goals, in fact West Ham didn’t concede in the first-half in any of those three games. Five of their last seven had seen under 1.5 goals in the first period.
Although looking more comfortable at Wembley, there is still an air of uncertainty around Spurs at their temporary home. They’ve tended to struggle against sides who have set out to frustrate. Eight of their ten home matches in the league this season have seen under 1.5 first-half goals. The anomalies were against a Liverpool side who left space in behind, and a poor, injury-hit Southampton outfit who capitulated early-on. Prior to the Boxing Day clash with Southampton, Spurs broke the deadlock against Stoke via an own-goal and versus Brighton through an overhit Serge Aurier cross. Before those goals went in they were struggling to make inroads.
For both sides, this is their second game in 48-hours and fourth match in 12 days. Some rotation and fatigue is likely. So we could be in for a slow start. At 4/6 we have enough reason to get behind under 1.5 first-half goals.
West Ham have had 4+ corners in each of their last four away matches, while Spurs have conceded this mark in five of their last seven matches at Wembley. Given Andy Carroll’s brace in midweek, the Hammers may opt to supply early crosses, they prioritised set-pieces at the Etihad and that may be the case here.
Tottenham v West Ham – West Ham 4+ corners (Evs Sky Bet)
Tottenham v West Ham – Under 1.5 first-half goals (4/6 Bet Victor)
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