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Spurs Odyssey Preview - West Ham v Spurs, 16.08.14

· Last Season's Corresponding Game - West Ham 2 Spurs 0
· This week - last year
· What happened in the Premiership in Match 1 2013-14

· See the current injury list for all Premiership Teams
· All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full League record - Spurs v West Ham

Premier          Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home             18  10   4   4   24- 15  34
Away             18   7   3   8   25- 26  24
Total (Prem)     36  17   7  12   49- 41  58
Football League
Home (Div 1)     33  17   7   9   65- 51  47
Away (Div 1)     33   9   9  15   45- 54  29
Total (Div 1)    66  26  16  24  110-105  76
Football League
Home (Div 2)     10   4   4   2   18- 13  12
Away (Div 2)     10   3   3   4   13- 12   9
======================= ======================
Total (Div 2)    20   7   7   6   31- 25  21
Total (Prem)     36  17   7  12   49- 41  58
Total (Div 1)    66  26  16  24  110-105  76
Total (Div 2)    20   7   7   6   31- 25  21
Grand Total     122  50  30  42  188-171 155

Last Six Premier League results:-

West Ham -  LLLLWL

West Ham   1-2   Liverpool
Arsenal    3-1   West Ham
West Ham   0-1   C. Palace
West Brom  1-0   West Ham
West Ham   2-0   Spurs
Man City   2-0   West Ham

Spurs    -  WDWWLW

Spurs      5-1   Sunderland
West Brom  3-3   Spurs
Spurs      3-1   Fulham
Stoke      0-1   Spurs
West Ham   2-0   Spurs
Spurs      3-0   A. Villa
              Final Table 2013-14

Pos            P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
 6. Spurs     38 21  6 11  55-51   4   69
13. West Ham  38 11  7 20  40-51 -11   40

Anticipation and dread

During the summer I wrote a short piece reviewing last season and previewing this season for World Soccer's Football 2015 magazine. Two of the questions I was asked, and the answers I gave were as follows:-

Which game are you most looking forward to, and why? – The first game against West Ham, because I want us to put an end to the embarrassing loss of three consecutive games to the team whose fans love to beat Spurs.

Are there any games you are dreading, and why? – The first game against West Ham because they might win a fourth consecutive game against us. They’ve only ever done this once – in 1966, when they also “won the World Cup” of course. Such a defeat would be highly embarrassing to say the least.

Arguably, this is the best possible opening game for West Ham, who have had a mediocre pre-season, during which their joint owner David Gold reportedly "favourited" a tweet which was critical of "BFS" (Big Fat Sam), after a poor pre-season tour. Facing (and perhaps beating) Spurs would be the greatest tonic to a set of fans, who are having to be encouraged to the very end to fill their ground for their "Cup Final". Mind you, apparently our seat prices of Ł55 are equal to the lowest priced tickets on sale.

West Ham have suffered a blow because of yet another injury to Andy Carroll, who faces two months on the sidelines with an ankle injury. Carroll only started 12 league games last season, and didn't play before January. He nearly scored in their 2-0 victory over us in May , bu that turned out to be a Harry Kane own goal.

The Hammers have shown an interest in former Spur Peter Crouch, but they didn't like Stoke's Ł3 million asking price. Similarly, they are not impressed with the Ł8 million tag being put on Connor Wickham's head by Sunderland.

West Ham haven't over-excited in the transfer window. They've acquired Gus Poyet's 19 year old son from Charlton. He's a midfielder, and presumably regarded as one for the future. They've bought Ecuadorian World Cup star Enner Valencia, who had plenty of goals in his feet in his domestic season and three in his three World Cup group games.

The Hammers have also bought Argentinean striker Mauro Zarate, who spent several seasons with Lazio, but last year played at home for Velez Sarsfield, for whom he scored 18 goals in 28 games. Both these scorers are untested in the Premier League.

In defence, Allardyce has invested in the Senegalese Cheikhou Kouyate, bought from Anderlecht. Just today (Friday) comes the news that a third striker has been signed. He's also from Senegal - Diafra Sakho - signed from Metz. Former Spur (also a former Hammer) Teddy Sheringham has been appointed as an attacking coach, with Allardyce formally agreeing to a club approach for their football to be more entertaining. After all, there is an Olympic Stadium waiting to be filled soon, isn't there!

It is highly unusual for the first away game of the season to be played against the same opposition as in the last away game of the previous season. I've had a look through the records, and the last time it happened to Spurs was against Middlesbrough at the end of the 1950-51 season, and at the start of 1951-52. We didn't win either game.

The last time we played West Ham on the first day of the season was also away on August 7th, 1999. It wasn't an auspicious occasion, as we lost 1-0. ( We also played West Ham in our first away game of the 1997-98 season. That result, like the season which followed was a bit of a disaster. We lost 2-1.

New head coach Mauricio Pochettino will hopefully have been made all too aware of the importance to Spurs fans of a positive result in this game. That goes for the players as well.

Pochettino reputedly runs a tough training regime, and with some of our World Cup players yet to feature in a formal game, plus the fact that we have several injury doubts, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a starting line-up similar to that which started last week's friendly against Schalke.

Vertonghen, Paulinho, Dembele and Chadli are those World Cup players to be "assessed", whilst skipper Michael Dawson, Kyle Walker and Vlad Chiriches are all doubtful. That could mean a league debut for Eric Dier, who did little wrong last week, whilst not sorely tested. I'd like to see Etienne Capoue feature in front of the defence, alongside Sandro.

As for The Hammers, Valencia is apparently short of fitness, and Ravel Morrison and Carl Jenkinson (signed on loan from Arsenal) are also unlikely to be available. Morrison has had other things on his mind recently, of course.

Despite the relative pessimism (or was it reality) of my season preview, I am adopting a confident stance for tomorrow's game. As far as I'm concerned, an away win is imperative, and I'm hoping for a 3-1.

Look out for the regular post-match survey, followed by a report later on Saturday night.

· Read the Spurs Odyssey season preview here
· Spurs' record in recent London Derby League matches

· 10 years ago this week, Spurs featured 6 debutants and drew 1-1 at home to Liverpool.

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