Exciting times ahead for Tottenham Hotspur fans as the club embarks on a new era under new manager Jose Mourinho when they face West Ham United tomorrow afternoon. The Lilywhites sacked Mauricio Pochettino recently after a disastrous start to the campaign. And the newly appointed Mourinho will be keen on making an early impact by collecting all three points this weekend.
West Ham, on the other hand, might be the ideal opponent for Spurs, having failed to win any of their last seven matches in all competitions. The Hammers last won against Manchester United back in September, and Manuel Pellegrini’s side must fight back if they are to avoid being sucked deeper into the relegation zone. Collecting at least a point will be on the agenda for the home side here.
It will be interesting to see how Mourinho plans to utilise the Spurs players to the fullest. We can expect the Portuguese mastermind to opt for a 4-2-3-1 setup, with the two midfielders providing defensive cover for the four-man backline. Eric Dier is likely to receive a more prominent place in the starting lineup due to his defensive nature. Christian Eriksen might be reinstated in the number ten role due to his ability to complete transition from midfield to attack.
West Ham United
It won’t be surprising to see Pellegrini employ a surprising attacking formula against Spurs this weekend. The Hammers have the weaponry needed to cause problems for the Tottenham backline, with the Chilean likely to deploy a 4-3-3 setup. The likes of Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko will look to provide pressure on the weak Spurs fullbacks and create chances from the wider areas of the pitch, especially with Sebastien Haller leading the line.
Hugo Lloris and Jan Vertonghen are both ruled out due to their respective injuries. Mourinho may also miss Erik Lamela, who is a doubt heading into this fixture. Aside from that, the ex-Real Madrid boss will have the privilege of choosing from an almost fully fit Tottenham squadron.
Predicted lineup: Paulo Gazzaniga; Serge Aurier, Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies; Eric Dier, Tanguy Ndombele; Lucas Moura, Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-Min; Harry Kane.
Lukasz Fabianski will continue to remain on the sidelines. His deputy Roberto hasn’t been doing well at all, but Pellegrini can only hope that he would improve his performances. Manuel Lanzini, meanwhile, is also ruled out. But, the likes of Mark Noble, Jack Wilshere and Michail Antonio have all been declared fit to start this weekend.
Predicted lineup: Roberto Jimenez; Ryan Fredericks, Fabian Balbuena, Issa Diop, Aaron Cresswell; Declan Rice, Mark Noble, Pablo Fornals; Felipe Anderson, Sebastien Haller, Andriy Yarmolenko.
For Tottenham, it will be worth keeping an eye on contract rebels like Alderweireld and Eriksen. It is believed that they rate Mourinho highly and there is a possibility that they could sign new deals following the Portuguese’s arrival. Hence, it will be interesting to see how the manager manages to bring the best out these individuals.
As for West Ham, all eyes will be on Fornals as he once again tries to fill in for the injured Lanzini. The Spaniard hasn’t been able to cope with the fast-paced nature of English football, but he must perform if West Ham are to have any chances of doing well this weekend.
- West Ham to win: 14/5
- Draw: 16/5
- Tottenham to win: Evens
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