Tottenham Hotspur host West Ham in clash for European football


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As far as London Derby’s go, there is virtually always something on the line, even if it is just local pride.

However, the stakes for Sunday’s clash between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are significantly higher. One step closer to fourth place in the Premier League table and qualification for the group stage of the Champions League for next season could be within touching distance for whichever team is able to pick up three points at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Hammers will enter Sunday’s clash one place higher in the table and buoying with confidence after Thursday’s victory over Sevilla, which saw them advance through to the quarterfinals of the Europa League while Spurs will be looking to add to Wednesday’s victory on the South Coast against Brighton after last weekend’s disappointing defeat to another Top 4 rival, Manchester United.

Recent history would suggest the visitors are probably the favourites as they boast victories in the last two clashes between the sides, with a 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture courtesy of Michail Antonio’s strike in the 72nd minute. Prior to that, they also bested Spurs at the London Stadium in February 2021 with goals from Jesse Lingard and Antonio once more proving to be the difference as Lucas Moura’s goal proved to be of little significance in West Ham’s comfortable 2-1 victory.

You have to go back as far as June 2020 for the last Tottenham victory in games between the two when a Tomas Soucek own goal and a late strike from Harry Kane gave the Lilywhites a comfortable victory, while they also registered a 3-2 victory in the first game under the watchful eye of former manager Jose Mourinho.

2019 saw the last victory for the Irons at the home of one of their biggest rivals, with yet another Antonio goal ending Spurs’ unbeaten start at their new ground as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat.

Spurs are guaranteed to be without Oliver Skipp (groin), Ryan Sessegnon (leg) and Japhet Tanganga (knee), with the latter ruled out for the season after undergoing surgery in the past week. Sessegnon will have another scan in three to four weeks, while manager Antonio Conte hopes to have Skipp back available after next weekend’s international break.

He has also called on defender Cristian Romero to be switched on from the start on Sunday to deal with the threat of Antonio, explaining: “He has a bit to improve in this situation, to be focussed on every moment of the game. Sometimes he gets a yellow card he can avoid. He has to improve in this aspect, to be focused from the start to the end.”

Conte’s counterpart David Moyes will be unable to call on Angelo Ogbonna (knee), Vladimir Coufal (hernia) and Jarrod Bowen (Achilles) but otherwise is likely to have a full squad at his disposal. Following Thursday night’s clash with the Spaniards, Moyes told “We have a few limping, but you expect that after a tough game. We’ll assess them all and see how they are. It’s a bit early to know a lot about the team.”

While a defeat for either side would far from rule them out of contention for the top four, three points will surely be at the forefront of both manager’s minds heading into the game.

Likely Lineups:

Tottenham: Lloris, Romero, Dier, Davies, Doherty, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Reguilon, Kulusevski, Son, Kane.

West Ham: Fabianski, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Fornals, Lanzini, Benrahma, Antonio.

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