Friday, May 2, 2014

West Ham - Tottenham Preview: Hammers aim for hat-trick of wins over rivals

Kyle Walker Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United - Capital One Cup Quarter-Final
West Ham have beaten Tottenham twice this season and could do with a hat-trick of wins over their London rivals to appease disgruntled fans.

Manager Sam Allardyce again attracted the ire of his side's supporters during a 1-0 Premier League defeat at West Brom last time out. Saido Berahino scored the only goal of the game as the claret-and-blues were consigned to a fourth consecutive loss, prompting some travelling fans to call for the former Newcastle boss to be sacked.

The experienced Allardyce took the criticism on the chin, stating that it was "part of the job", but ,with his side five points above the relegation zone, he will be eager to secure at least a draw in their last home game of the season against Tim Sherwood's side on Saturday.

While relegation looks highly unlikely for West Ham, if they can stop the rot in this derby then they would be all-but assured of safety.

The Hammers have happy memories of their clashes with Tottenham this season, having won 3-0 at White Hart Lane in the top flight back in October and then 2-1 at the same ground in the Capital Cup in December.

And the under-fire Allardyce would revel in another victory over a side who look set to be playing in the Europa League again next season.

He told the press: "It would be absolutely fantastic to beat them at home, having beaten them in the Capital One Cup and in the league.

"At this moment in time, our concerns are: one, we were one of the best clean sheets in the league eight or nine games ago and we haven't kept one since then. That's been our demise that has caused us a few problems.

"Two, and it's been the case all season, that the chances created have always been there but our conversion rate, when you look at the stats, hasn't been good enough."

Allardyce has been accustomed to questions over his future and Sherwood, his opposite number, has also been probed about his job for some time despite only being appointed in December.

Ajax coach Frank de Boer claims that he is a target for Tottenham, with Sherwood widely expected to be relieved of his duties at the end of the season.

The Spurs boss has spoken of his disappointment at the continued speculation over his future but vowed to carry on regardless and he will fancy his chances of heaping more misery on West Ham as Tottenham are in fine form.

A 1-0 win at Stoke City last time out made it three wins from their last four Premier League games and the north Londoners are now just three points behind fifth-placed Everton.

Sherwood will be unable to call upon Andros Townsend after the England winger sustained an ankle injury that will rule him out of the World Cup but Jan Vertonghen and Etienne Capoue could return. On-loan striker Marco Borriello (calf) is West Ham's only absentee.

West Ham - Tottenham Preview: Hammers aim for hat-trick of wins over rivals Rating: 4.5 Posted by: Unknown

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