Premier League Preview: Tottenham v West Ham
By Football News
Tottenham will look to extend their unbeaten home record when they welcome struggling West Ham on Sunday.
Andre Villas-Boas' side are undefeated in their last 10 competitive matches at White Hart Lane, last tasting defeat at the venue against Fulham in March.
Home Premier League wins against Swansea City and Norwich City have seen Tottenham's campaign begin positively and they lie third in the table, behind only Liverpool and London rivals Arsenal.
Spurs will enter the game off the back of a 2-0 UEFA Europa League win at Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday, with Jermain Defoe and Nacer Chadli scoring in the first half for the visitors.
Defoe has now scored seven goals in cup matches for Tottenham this season, but he has netted just once in the league this year.
The 30-year-old will be out to change that if he starts against his old club, but Spaniard Roberto Soldado is likely to be preferred up front by Villas-Boas.
The Portuguese manager will be without defender Younes Kaboul after he picked up a knock in Russia, while Danny Rose (toe), Aaron Lennon (foot), Etienne Capoue (ankle) will also miss out, and Emmanuel Adebayor is doubtful.
In stark contrast to Tottenham, West Ham have struggled this season, and with just one win from their six Premier League matches, they lie 17th in the table.
Their difficulties have hinged largely on failure to score regularly and their goals tally is the joint lowest in the top flight.
The absence of high-profile signing Andy Carroll (heel) has hurt manager Sam Allardyce, with not one striker having scored for the club in the current campaign.
They have been sharp defensively, though, conceding just five league goals, but will be wary of a dreadful away record in the Premier League.
West Ham, who will welcome midfielder Joe Cole back from a hamstring injury, have won just one of their last 17 road trips in the league.
George McCartney (knee) could also feature in a match that Allardyce is keen to assume the underdogs tag for.
"If you spend £100 million, as Spurs have, you'd expect Andre Villas-Boas to have to live with that pressure in getting that team to play to its capabilities as quickly as possible," he said.
"It doesn't always click immediately, but he must be delighted with how it's going so far. They've moulded into a team quickly, which is a big bonus for him and Tottenham."
Tottenham will also enter the match with history on their side, having won nine of the last 12 encounters between the two clubs, with two ending in draws.
West Ham's only win against Tottenham since May 2006 came when Frederic Piquionne's first-half strike gave them a 1-0 success at Upton Park in 2010.