Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United side will be hoping that the new Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho takes a little bit of time getting accustomed to the difficult job at hand. The Hammers suffered a 3-0 thrashing at Turf Moor last time out and will be looking to get back to winning ways against a struggling Spurs side. Despite the vast abundance of strong attacking players at the former Manchester City manager’s disposal, he hasn’t been able to fine-tune them in the right order.
Tottenham’s league struggles have been no secret for quite a while now, and their 1-1 draw against Sheffield United further signified the kind of issues that Mourinho has been left to deal with. The Portuguese mastermind will be up to his neck with criticism if things don’t go their way right from the start of his reign. The Hammers should look to take advantage of this fragility and cause Spurs a different kind of problem this weekend.
The biggest news for Hammers fans this week will be the returns of versatile speedster Michael Antonio and centre-half Angelo Ogbonna. Jack Wilshere is another who could make a return on the weekend, after dealing with a little niggle with his hip. Although the former Arsenal star could be in the matchday squad, he isn’t expected to start the tie.
Lukasz Fabianski remains sidelined after the thigh injury he picked up earlier in the campaign. With an unofficial return date set somewhere in December, he stays out of contention for this fixture. Manuel Lanzini was confirmed to have fractured his collarbone and has undergone surgery, meaning that he will be out again for the foreseeable future. Mark Noble is ready to return from his ankle problem as well.
Predicted 4-4-1-1 West Ham United Lineup Vs Tottenham Hotspur
Fabianski’s long-term injury effectively guarantees Roberto’s starting position, but his display against Burnley last weekend certainly wouldn’t have filled the West Ham manager with a lot of confidence. In front of him as well, Fabian Balbuena put up an absolute shocker against the Clarets last weekend and is expected to be dropped for this crucial tie. The returning Angelo Ogbonna could partner Issa Diop.
Ryan Fredricks and Aaron Cresswell have been decent sources of attacking creativity for Hammers all campaign and are expected to keep their place. The Spurs full-backs, on the other hand, have been struggling to get into any kind of form. Pellegrini could look to exploit the wide areas to try and shell-shock this transitioning Tottenham side very early on.
Declan Rice’s stock has been on the rise for quite a while now, and the hype surrounding the youngster is genuine indeed. He keeps his place as the midfield anchor, with Robert Snodgrass and Mark Noble operating just in front of him. The trio is adept recycling possession between themselves and does have a good understanding with each other, giving them the ability to break any press with short passes.
Felipe Anderson is expected to continue down the left flank for the Hammers while another one of Pellegrini’s changes from last weekend could be the introduction of Andriy Yarmolenko in place of Spanish star Pablo Fornals. The West Ham wingers haven’t been able to produce the goods in recent weeks, and have hopefully used the international break to work on whatever lingering issues were surrounding them.
Sebastian Haller is very much the first-choice striker at the London Stadium, and his place in the side hasn’t been under question just yet. Although Michael Antonio’s return from injury could give Pellegrini a couple of options in various areas, expect to see Haller starting against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur on the weekend.
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