By Brian Jeeves
FORMER West Ham United defender, Alan Stephenson, believes the Hammers are in for another tough encounter when bitter London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, are the visitors to the London Stadium on Friday evening.
With West Ham still not safe from relegation and Spurs very much in the title race, there is still plenty at stake in this particular contest. Speaking to Yellow Sport ahead of the match, Stephenson said: “West Ham currently have thirty-nine points, with home games against top-four clubs, Spurs and Liverpool, followed by a tricky trip to Burnley. I have a hunch the Hammers will survive, but only just.
“Spurs travel to east London chasing Chelsea for the title and in scintillating form. They will show no let-up against the Hammers. Indeed, there is little love lost between the fans and it will be equally as spicy this time.
“Pochettino’s men have won their last nine Premier League matches on the bounce and have a squad brimming with quality players. West Ham have a huge task against a side, I believe, have been the team of the season in terms of the football they produce.
“The likes of Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane have been creating and taking chances. That for me is the big difference between the two sides at the moment. If Spurs continue to show the same levels that they produced against Arsenal last week, then West Ham are in for a struggle.”
But Stephenson was pleased to see his one-time club show a little more resolve of late, adding: “I was pleased to see West Ham pick up back-to-back clean sheets against Everton and Stoke City, but they will have to pull out all the stops to grab the three points that I believe will see them safe. Playing three recognised centre backs, coupled with Adrian returning in goal has pointed the way for a slight improvement.
“It’s a big ask to for this Hammer side to beat Spurs. But if they continue to defend they way they have recently then they can collect the points required from the final three games. However, they have to start finding goals from somewhere.”