Two sides who have both made pretty good starts to the new campaign meet when Tottenham Hotspur host West Ham on Sunday (4.30pm, live on Sky Sports).
Spurs were dreadful in defeat to Everton on the opening day of the season but have been a lot better since. They thrashed Southampton, were unfortunate only to draw with Newcastle following a late and questionable penalty call, and then demolished Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho’s side seemed set for a difficult time of it when they conceded a first-minute penalty to go behind at Old Trafford, but they hit back quickly, with goals with Tanguy Ndombele and Heung-Min Son reversing the scoreline in five minutes. United were reduced to 10 men before goals from Harry Kane and a second for Son had Spurs 4-1 up at the break.
An early second half strike from Serge Aurier and a later Kane penalty added further gloss to the result as Spurs struck an early blow to a side they have ambitions of contesting a top-four place with. Last season’s sixth place finish was a disappointment after four consecutive top-four finishes under Mauricio Pochettino and they want to get back in the Champions League qualifying positions this time around.
Coming into this season, they didn’t seem particularly well-placed to do so. It is true that from Mourinho’s appointment in late November through to the end of last season, Spurs actually had the fourth-best record in the Premier League, better than those of Chelsea and Leicester who finished ahead of them. However, their metrics were bad and provided little real evidence of a clear improvement over their early-season performances under Pochettino.
It is still too early to get a true handle on their level but a top-four challenge looks much more likely after some encouraging early displays. They had a good transfer window, that saw them sort out some of the gaps in the squad with a mix of solid domestic performers and more exciting additions from abroad. These included Spain international left-back Sergio Reguilon and the returning Gareth Bale, both from Real Madrid.
Spurs can, though, expect a thorough test from West Ham this weekend. After stabilising things last season following the departure of Manuel Pellegrini and leading them to safety, David Moyes seems to be crafting quite a solid team over at the London Stadium. The clear uptick in performances and results at the back end of last season seems to have carried over into the new campaign.
The Hammers lost their opening two matches of the campaign to Newcastle and Arsenal but have since recorded convincing wins to nil over Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester, two teams who finished in the top seven last season. Wolves were dispatched 4-0, and that was followed by a 3-0 win over Leicester, in which first half goals from Michael Antonio and Pablo Fornals put West Ham in control. Jarrod Bowen then added a third late on.
All three of the goalscorers in that match have begun the EPL season in fine fettle. Antonio has reprised the striking role he occupied down the final stretch of 2019-20, Bowen has looked good coming in off the right flank in shooting positions, while there are signs that Fornals might be beginning to settle following a disappointing first season in the Premier League.
On the evidence of their last 15 or 16 league matches, it seems unlikely that West Ham will be involved in a relegation scrap this season. It may even be fair to aim towards a top 10 finish if everything falls their way.
After shutting down the attacks of two teams who do most of their best attacking work in transitional phases of play, Moyes and his side will be fairly confident of keeping Spurs within reach on Sunday, even if the individual quality of players like Kane and Son gives Mourinho’s side the edge.
The major United Kingdom online sports betting sites and oddsmakers have Spurs odds-on to win, which seems understandable. Spurs defeated West Ham home and away last season and backing them to do so again across a couple of potential scorelines seems a solid play. So these are our Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham betting tips for this preview:
- Spread money either evenly or on a weighted basis between Tottenham Hotspur to win 2-1 @ 8/1 and to win 3-2 at 20/1. Check the table below to see the best bookie with the top odds for these options.
Compare THFC vs WHUFC Betting Odds from Top Bookmakers