Monday evening is reserved for the London derby that will see top half hopefuls West Ham take on fourth-placed Tottenham. The Hammers are hoping the two weeks they had to prepare for this clash will give them an extra edge over their opponents, who were in Europa League action on Thursday.
West Ham returned to the top flight after spending just one season in the Championship and smart summer recruitment ensured they are well prepared for the survival fight. It soon became clear that the Hammers would not be involved in the relegation race as some excellent showings at their Boleyn Ground saw them climb to mid table. While team’s perforamanced on the road leave a lot to be desired, they have become a real force to be reckoned with at Boleyn Ground, where they have been scoring goals for fun of late. The Hammers have scored a total of 10 goals in last 6 home fixtures, and with Joe Cole returning to the club in January and Andy Carroll finally fully fit after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, you can be pretty sure the hosts will do everything in their power to take the game to their opponents.
While Tottenham have been showing signs of promise for some five or six years now, I don’t remember when the team were as consistent as this season. It is more than obvious that Spurs have significantly improved their away form, with their 7-2-4 record on the road second only to United and Chelsea. However, the team almost paid a price for Daniel Levy’s failure to sign another striker in the January transfer window, as with Jermain Defoe injured and Emmanuel Adebayor away on Africa Cup of Nations, Spurs had to find goals from somewhere. It was magnificent Gareth Bale that stepped up the plate when it was needed the most, with his seven goals in 5 games keeping Tottenham on track in both England and Europe. With Ade now back to the side and Defoe set to return next week, Spurs should be able to continue the good scoring run, especially as the team are high on confidence after eliminating Lyon from Europa League.