Pick of the Weekend: West Ham United – Tottenham Hotspurs

Historically the Spurs struggle against West Ham with a close to 50/50 record. Small wins, draws and losses have been the story of these teams facing each other for the last few years. And these were years where Tottenham was in great shape, this time around they hold the 14th position in the Premier League and we were about to write how a bet on West Ham was a good bet for this year’s edition. AND THEN EVERYTHING CHANGED.

Enter Jose Mourhinio

Boem. Exit Mauricio Pochettino. We didn’t see that one coming. It’s just months after a Champions League final and despite the horrible results this season, the coach still had a lot of goodwill with the fans. With the assignment of Mourinho the board of directors gave the signal of adding the one ingredient that Pochettino was missing: a winner’s mentality. Or in the case of Mourinho: the willingness to win at al costs.

Expected 4-2-3-1 line up

When looking at the standings, you will see something interesting. Tottenham is the only team in the lower regions with a positive balance in goals. This is not surprising since their attack is still world class with Eriksen, Kane, Dele and Son. We are not expecting to see much changes there. The problem obviously lies in the defence, not in the last place due to the injuries of Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris. We expect to see Rose, Alderweireld, Sanchez and Foyth.

West Ham started the mind games

It didn’t take the marketing team of West Ham long to create a video about Mourhinio’s previous encounters with West Ham, that were far from all a success for the portugese manager. The stakes have been raised, that is for sure:

But the club from West Ham would be wise to look at themselves first, since they are not having a good season thus far. Sure, in comparison with Tottenham the decay is only relative, but West Ham should be aiming for tenth place at least. We expect though that the existing rivalry from West Ham versus the Spurs will motivate them to go the extra mile against a team that is still looking to find its form. A draw or a small win for West Ham would not be a surprising result, though it’s totally acceptable to gamble on the ‘Mourinho effect’.

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