West Ham fans will be pleased to know that Jermaine Defoe is set to miss Monday night’s game through injury.
The former Hammers striker is likely to be out for four weeks having picked up an ankle injury in Tottenham’s win at West Bromwich Albion just over a fortnight ago. The West Ham back four will also be breathing a sigh of relief having seen the England International net four times in his last five games against the Hammers. In fact, you’d need to cast your mind back to March 2009 to find the last time Tottenham claimed three points without Defoe in the squad.
Spurs will, however, be able to turn to man of the moment Gareth Bale. The Welshman is in a rich vein of form at the moment and will be looking to continue that on Monday evening. AVB’s men find themselves top of the form table thanks to their fine away record, which has seen them go unbeaten on the road since last December. It means that Tottenham are just a point behind third placed Chelsea with a third of the season to go.
Meanwhile West Ham’s season has turned into somewhat of a Jekyll and Hyde storyline. Upton Park seems to bring out some of the best in West Ham, including a win against Chelsea and a good point against current champions Manchester City. It’s just a shame that Mr Hyde rears his ugly head whenever the away coach starts up its engines. Fortunately Dr Jekyll will be able to watch Monday’s game from the comfort of Upton Park.
Andy Carroll’s return to fitness could be the difference between the two teams. The Geordie giant looked back to his best in during the 1-0 win at home to Swansea earlier in the month and will be hoping for some decent deliveries from the wide men. However, I don’t think the West Ham faithful will overly enjoy their evening under the floodlights. It will be nerve racking and painful to be a part of.
Somewhat of a backs to the wall job, it’ll be tedious, unfashionable and mostly a consolidation job. But maybe, just maybe it’ll be enough to blunt the Tottenham attack and earn the Hammers a respectable point. Having scored in all but one of this season’s away games it’ll be somewhat of a surprise if Spurs fail to find the back of the net, however, I fully expect West Ham to score too. The 7/1 on offer that the game finishes 1-1 is very attractive. For those of you that like to be a little more cautious than the draw is priced up at an equally tempting 5/2.