Who needs defenders? West Ham vs Spurs
West Ham host Spurs in the early kick-off on Saturday in the Premier League with both sides playing below expectations so far. Can either team use this London derby as a springboard for the rest of their season? Have a read of our preview here:
West Ham had a bright start to the season. Following an opening day 5-0 defeat to Man City, they went on a run of six games without defeat that included an impressive 2-0 win over Manchester United.
Since then, however, they've not been able to buy a victory. It is now six without a win for the Hammers and they have started to look like a team in real trouble. Thrashed 3-0 at Burnley last weekend, added to the frustrations of a 3-2 home defeat by Newcastle the week before.
They were also smashed out of the League Cup by Oxford United – another game where their defence took a vacation – conceding four times against the League One outfit.
The lack of attacking production has been compounded by a defence leakier that Covent Garden soup, making Saturday’s game extremely important.
The Hammers have to at least avoid defeat against a struggling Spurs side. Manuel Pellegrini knows his side need to defend better, saying after the Burnley defeat:
"When you concede so many easy goals, it does not help. I am concerned at the easy goals we are conceding. We need to change.
"We have 15 days and we will try to recover. The international break has come at a good time. We need to work hard and reverse this situation. It's more than just confidence - we are conceding too many goals. if you concede too many easy goals, it is very difficult to win."
To make matters worse, West Ham are likely to be without Manuel Lanzini following a shoulder injury picked up in the defeat at Turf Moor, a player they could sorely do without losing.
Spurs' struggles continue
It is now five games without a win for Mauricio Pochettino’s men which has left them 11 points outside the top-four.
This unexpected downturn in form may not be as surprising as people are suggesting. Spurs have a small squad that has lacked depth for many seasons and with Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli out of form, it is hard to see thing changing anytime soon.
Talk of Pochettino leave seems ridiculous, but Tottenham need to invest in the playing squad in January or face a season of mid-table mediocrity.
West Ham vs Spurs betting tip
So, it is a tale of woes for these two sides as they meet in East London in the early kick-off. Neither will be happy with the way things have gone in 2019-20 so far and given the lack of defensive solidity from either team, backing it to finish over 2.5 goals at odds of 4/7 with 888sport is a fair bet here.