BEN LEVENE (@BenLevene96) has scoured the markets ahead of Saturday's early Premier League kick-off and found two angles of attack at the London Stadium,
West Ham v Tottenham | Saturday 23rd September 2017, 12:30 | Sky Sports
After a slow start to the season, West Ham look to have turned a corner. The Hammers began the season with three away games, losing all three and conceding at least three goals on each occasion.
Slaven Bilic was backed into favourite in the Premier League Sack race after a dispute with owners David Gold and David Sullivan over transfers and things looked bleak.
Change in Hammers’ fortunes
Fast forward three weeks and the Hammers’ host rivals Spurs on the back of consecutive league clean sheets, and look generously priced at over 4/1.
The Javier Hernandez, Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio conundrum is still seemingly troubling Bilic and having Andre Ayew and Marko Arnautovic about hasn’t helped the issue either. The Croat has toyed with different combinations but it was his decision to switch to a back three which ultimately stopped the rot.
The Hammers will be looking to push on from their new-found defensive soundness and produce a strong campaign. Bilic is likely to continue with the system this weekend, although James Collins is out. Manuel Lanzini and Pedro Obiang also remain absent.
West Ham have enjoyed this fixture in recent seasons and they’ve been able to defeat Spurs at home at key moments in title races on both occasions.
Strong travelling Spurs
Tottenham themselves have been good travellers. They’ve won both away games this season and are yet to concede a goal on the road. But at Wembley they are yet to win in the league in 2017/18.
Chelsea, Burnley and Swansea have all successfully defended deep against Spurs, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side failing to kill them off.
Similarities between the London Stadium and Wembley are clear so it will be interesting to see how Spurs fair on Saturday. The return of Ben Davies will be welcomed as both Son Heung-min and Kieran Tripper were used at left-wing back against Swansea.
The betting angles
An interesting angle in terms of corners is that Spurs have had seven or more in four of their five league games. The occasion which they didn’t was at Everton in their 3-0 win.
Given West Ham’s recent defensive solidity, and their rivalry with Spurs, goals may be harder to come by. Pochettino likes to get his full-backs high, supplying crosses into the box, so Spurs are generally a corner team.
Spurs are 6/5 with Bet365 to earn seven or more corners.
Last season, both meetings between the sides had six or more cards. Michael Oliver has got at least five cards out in the last two games he’s officiated – 50 or more Booking Points at evens with SkyBet also looks chancing given the circumstances.
Ten Bookings Points are assigned to a yellow card with 25 picked up when a red card is flashed.