Spurs vs West Ham – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Sunday 19th February 2023
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we preview West Ham’s away match against Spurs. With just one defeat in their last seven, can West Ham avoid defeat again here? Read on with our Spurs vs West Ham prediction.
Spurs vs West Ham Match Preview
Spurs come into this game having lost 1-0 away to AC Milan in the first leg of the Champions League round of sixteen tie. They are also in bipolar form in the league. Indeed, they have won three and drawn three in the previous six games. A 4-0 defeat of Palace and 1-0 defeats of Fulham and Man City have been tempered by failure in the North London Derby, a loss in the reverse fixture against Man City, and last weekend’s 4-1 hammering against a resurgent Leicester team at the King Power. Given Antonio Conte’s ongoing gallbladder problems, stand-in Cristian Stellini will again take charge.
Spurs’ form at home has been poor. Other than the previously mentioned victory against Man City, their only win in the last six at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was their thrilling 4-3 defeat of Leeds. Losses to Aston Villa, Liverpool, and Newcastle join the defeat by Arsenal. They, therefore, need to improve their home form and will see this as an excellent game to start. Sitting in fifth with 39 points after 23 games, they are still in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
West Ham make the short trip across London, having lost only once in their seven matches in 2023. This stat sounds impressive; what is less so is the fact that the Hammers have only won once in their last ten league games. Their only victory came against fellow strugglers Everton, placing them 18th in the form table across the previous ten games – though, as said, the last five games have seen improvement with only one defeat (to Wolves).
West Ham’s previous game was a good 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea. The teams scored a goal apiece in the first half after Emerson cancelled Joao Felix’s early strike. West Ham have real problems away from home, however. Indeed, they have not won on their travels in their last nine games; their last win away was at Villa Park in August. Therefore, they may lack confidence entering this game but will be eager to break their duck. West Ham currently sit in the relegation zone, with 20 points from 22 games and only 19 goals scored. They desperately need to start accumulating points.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Lloris, Sessegnon, Bentancur, Bissouma
Might Not Play: Aguerd, Scamacca
Will Not Play: Areola, Zouma, Cornet, Paqueta
Spurs vs West Ham Lineups (Predicted)
Spurs (3-4-3): Forster; Davies, Dier, Romero; Perisic, Sarr, Hojbjerg, Emerson Royal; Son, Kane, Richarlison
West Ham (3-4-3): Fabianski; Cresswell, Ogbonna, Kehrer; Emerson, Soucek, Rice, Coufal; Benrahma, Bowen, Antonio
Spurs vs West Ham Analysis
The contest for midfield will likely be vital in this game. Both teams like to play on the counter, so an argument can be made that whichever team has less of the ball has a better chance of winning. Opta stats show that most of Spurs’ control zones (where they have more than 55 per cent of touches compared to the opposition) come in their own half when they are building the ball. Interestingly, they also dominate the right wing, where they try to play through Emerson Royal and Kulusevski. These stats also highlight that West Ham concede control in the zones right down the centre of the pitch, which might be surprising given how highly Rice is rated.
Therefore, we see Spurs, the home team with better players, having more possession of the ball in this game. It will be up to Rice and Soucek in midfield to press and discomfort Hojbjerg and Sarr and not allow them to receive the ball from the Spurs defence and play directly into the strikers. The two Spurs men will do the same when Rice tries to build play. Both teams will likely play three at the back with two central midfielders. Whichever team can nick it in midfield will have the opportunity to feed their lethal forwards. How will these forwards try to attack?
Wide Areas and Attacking
As stated, Spurs have much control down the right-hand side. This situation might be surprising given the generally excellent Son plays on the left, supported by an attacking Perisic. However, Son has been relatively poor this season, forcing Spurs to attack more down the right maybe. Kulusevski has been in and out of the team with injury, but he is more of a playmaker than Son, so it makes sense that Spurs have more control on the right than the left. However, in this game, we see Richarlison given a chance on the right. Danjuma is also an option on either side, and he is dangerous, fast and a tricky dribbler.
Spurs might try to play balls down the channels and the sides, attempting to get in behind West Ham’s attacking left-wing back, Emerson. They will try to get their wingers shots on goals, and Perisic’s crossing will also be important in finding the lethal Kane in the box. Kane is a fantastic goalscorer who recently became Spurs’ top scorer. His deadliness in the box and his playmaking ability outside of it in releasing the wingers could prove dividends here.
West Ham will likely play on the counter. The Hammers will look to find spaces in Spurs’ defensive third in transition when Spurs lose the ball and their shape is disrupted. The eye test shows that Bowen’s (who was so good last season) performances have improved slightly recently. Emerson and Coufal will support him and Benrahama on either side when the wing-backs feel it is relatively safe to go forward. When the full-backs do go, the midfielders must come across to cover.
Bowen and Benrahama must try to cut inside Perisic and Emerson Royal and shoot or find Antonio with crosses. Antonio is not prolific, so he will be expected to work hard and provide for the wingers and Fornals or Downes if they start. If Antonio does get a chance, he must take it.
Spurs Need to Condede Less, and West Ham Need to Score More
It is abundantly apparent that Spurs concede too many goals. They have conceded 35 this season – the most in the top half. West Ham have let in 27; while this isn’t good, it is the least in the bottom half. However, West Ham have only scored 19, which is only two more than Everton and Wolves, who are joint-bottom of the goals scored statistic. Spurs have scored 42, which is more than everyone in the league apart from Man City and Arsenal. Hence, it is clear where these teams’ problems lie; Spurs can score goals but not keep them out, and West Ham can defend okay but cannot score.
In light of these stats, we could see a talented attacking force coming up against a decent defence in this game. Spurs will look to exert dominance at home, and West Ham will (as stated) look to defend in their low block and spring on the counter. Whichever team can perform better in their weaker area (Spurs keeping the back door shut or West Ham finding more joy in forward areas) could be the key to victory here.
This game is a tricky one to predict. We have covered the issues Spurs have defensively, and West Ham have offensively. Both teams enter this match with somewhat mixed feelings. West Ham have done well not to lose many games lately, but they aren’t winning many either, and their away form is horrendous. Spurs are a team that takes one step forward and then two steps back. For example, they can beat Man City but are then hammered by Leicester. Conte’s absence won’t have helped, but the issues were there long before his illness. There needs to be more consistency or a better minimum standard of performance.
Hence, we were tempted to call this match a 1-1 draw. We felt this way because West Ham do not concede too many and because Spurs seem better on their travels, where they can play their counter-attack game more easily. However, there will likely be a reaction to the Milan loss from Spurs. They have the players that can come out and score a couple to win this game. It will likely be a close game, and a draw is not out of the question, but we are predicting a narrow Spurs win.
Spurs 2-1 West Ham
Spurs vs West Ham Betting Tip – Spurs Odds:
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