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For West Brom and Tottenham, last Saturdays’ fixtures were opportunities to add three easy points and move up the points table. Both the Baggies and Spurs, who are so formidable at home, drew 0-0 against two sides, West Ham and Swansea City, both laggards placed in the bottom half of the table presently. For West Ham it was some consolation at The Hawthorns for the simple reason that they have been able to hold themselves together after 3 consecutive losses – an impressive 2-0 win against Huddersfield Town followed by the drawn game against West Ham. The Hammers now host Tottenham at the London Stadium for a weekend derby showdown on the 23rd.
Spurs would like to put behind their disappointing Swansea game behind them especially after a sterling performance in their UEFA Champions opener against Borussia Dortmund. Even a 75 per cent possession and 26 shots were not able to fetch them a goal. To cap that, the Spurs attack was there in full strength. Harry Kane, Del Alli & co. will fancy their chances against a West Ham side who have a propensity to leak in goals but poor at getting them (just 4 from their 5 Premier League outings).The10 goals the Hammers have let in is the highest among all teams this season. While the Hammers defense of Jose Fonte, Winston Reid, James Collins and the experienced Argentine war-horse Zabaleta did a good job keeping the West Brom attackers at bay at the The Hawthorns, it could be an altogether a differnt matter against Harry Kane, Del Alli, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min. For Steven Bilic’s Hammers another problem has been the ineffectiveness of their attack despite having men like Andy Carroll, Javier Hernandez, Michail Antonio and Arnautovic upfront. The single shot they managed on the West Brom goal on Saturday is testimony to that. The weakness in the wings was apparent and the Spurs defense would hardly be tested if this were to be the case at the London stadium on Saturday. In 21-year old import from Ajax, Davinson Sanchez, Mauricio Pochettino has found an ideal replacement at the back for Kyle Walker (who left for Man City). The young Colombian defender fared excellently in last outings against Everton and Swansea and had a major hand in his side’s clean sheets in both those games.Along with TobyAlderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Kieran Trippier, Sanchez will be a valuable addition tom the Spurs defense in the matches going ahead.
The odds (Bet365) for Tottenham to win 0-2 are the brightest at 15/2, although one would be shocked to learn that the visitors had lost both their last two away games to the Hammers, so a 12/1 odds for a 0-0 draw may not look very unattractive.
Half Time/Full Time, Tottenham – Tottenham, Best Odds 31/20 @ Coral
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