After an intriguing international break, the Premier League will get back underway this weekend as West Ham United host Tottenham Hotspur at the London Stadium. After securing seven points in their last four matches, the Hammers will target a bit more consistency to climb up the table.
However, a clash against Tottenham will not be easy considering the North Londoners have had a solid start, picking up 18 points in eight matches so far.
West Ham United Team news
West Ham do not have too many options considering the likes of Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Andy Carroll, Carlos Sanchez and Winston Reid all sidelined with injuries.
To add salt into their wounds, key fullback Arthur Masuaku is doubtful with an ankle injury while Javier Hernandez and Roberto Snodgrass will be monitored before the game.
Predicted West Ham United lineup vs Tottenham Hotspur
Arthur Masuaku is expected to expected to shake off his injury and return in time for the clash. The experienced Pablo Zabaleta should keep his place in the team. The former Man City defender has averaged 3.6 tackles per game, and his experience could prove to be useful against a lethal Spurs attack.
Pellegrini could opt for the Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop duo in central defence with Angelo Ogbonna, once again, sitting out on the bench. Both the defenders have been excellent in recent weeks, playing a crucial role in West Ham’s resurgence with Balbuena, in particular, responsible for making almost eight clearances per game.
Lukasz Fabianski has by far been the most consistent player so far, and he should keep his place in goal.
Declan Rice will retain his place at the heart of West Ham’s 4-1-2-3. His excellent defensive prowess has somewhat helped take the pressure off the defenders.
In the absence of Jack Wilshere and Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang will continue to operate in a slightly advanced position in midfield. Rice’s impressive defensive screening of the backline will allow both of these midfielders some much-needed freedom in the final third.
Noble, in particular, has averaged more short passes (42.3) per game than anyone else in the team. But, his ball circulating qualities will be tested against a Tottenham midfield unit who tend to press well.
Attack has been one of West Ham United’s strongest assets this season, largely thanks to the fluent trio of Andriy Yarmolenko, Marko Arnautovic, and Felipe Anderson.
While Yarmolenko’s dynamism and Felipe’s smart positioning and passing do enough to destabilise the opposing defence, it’s Arnautovic’s skill and pizzazz that is hard to mark. Though the Austrian’s finishing can improve, on his day, he can trouble the best of defences with his sheer ability on the ball.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored