Tottenham face West Ham in league cup in what will be the first game of the post Andre Villas Boas era. Tim Sherwood has taken the reigns for the game on an interim basis, but will be hoping to impress the board with the philosophies and ideas of which he is aiming to bring to the failing side.
Tottenham will be hoping to banish all thoughts of the 0-3 loss at the Lane when these two sides clashed earlier this season. Since then, Sam Allardyce’s side hasn’t had the best of times, rocketing down the league table, causing them to currently lie uncomfortably above the relegation places, with only Crystal Palace, Fulham and Sunderland below them. Due to their dire state in the league, Allardyce may, to Spurs fans hopes, field a second string team from a squad already plagued by injuries.
Tottenham meanwhile have had mixed results since, with further home losses to Newcastle and Liverpool, with the prior, being a 5-0 loss to the Merseyside team, resulting in Daniel Levy ‘dropping the axe’ on Villas Boas.
West Ham come into the game on the back of a run of three games without a win, including a disappointing loss to Crystal Palace, and a bore draw with Sunderland at Upton Park. Whilst as prior said, Tottenham come into the match in low spirits after their largest league home defeat in 16 years.
In terms of the competition, you wouldn’t think the drama at the Lane is currently enfolding, with Tottenham being here through a very impressive 4-0 victory at Villa Park against Aston Villa back in September, thanks to a Jermaine Defoe brace, whilst getting through the third round thanks to an entertaining penalty victory over Hull City.
West Ham meanwhile got to this stage after a close 3-2 victory over fellow premier league outfit, Cardiff city, thanks to a late strike from Ricardo Vaz Te, which saw them through to the 4th round, where a brace of penalties from Matty Taylor and Jack Collison ensured a 2-0 away win over Championship outfit, Burnley.
Tim Sherwood is expected to ring the changes for his first Tottenham side, as he attempts to rejuvenate the side of which has suffered a number of heavy defeats already this season. Emmanuel Adebayor is rumoured to be close to returning to the side, as the side are currently struggling to put the ball into the back of the net.
Tottenham’s English captain, Michael Dawson will miss out and join Brazilian midfielder, Paulinho on the suspension list, due to Dawson accumulation of five yellow cards and Paulinho’s red card for a high challenge on Luis Suarez against Liverpool on Sunday. Fellow Brazilian, Sandro also misses out after sustaining an injury against the reds causing him to have to be replaced. Although both Danny Rose and Christian Eriksen could feature, with both joined by centre half, Vlad Chiriches, as all push for starts after returning from injury.
West Ham makes the visit across London without a number of their first team players, with Portuguese striker, Ricardo Vaz Te among three strikers who miss out, in Andy Carroll and Mladen Petric. Former Liverpool winger, Stuart Downing and Australian centre half, Winston Reid also miss out.
I think Sherwood will go for this; he’s been given a chance to prove he can make it as the manager of Tottenham Hotspur. If we’d lost 6-3 to Manchester City, 3-5 to Liverpool and 3-2 to West Ham, I don’t think Villas Boas would’ve been fired. The main factor which pushed a number of fans off the AVB bandwagon was the poor entertainment and the lack of goals. Sherwood will know this and attack West Ham. I believe we will see a change of formation to occupy two strikers up front, where the Defoe and Adebayor tactic has worked in the past. I think we’ll win, but depending on starting eleven and formation, I think we could well concede. I’m going for (an entertaining) 3-1 victory to us, with normal times finishing 1-1. Whether you agree with the sacking an Andre or not, get behind the side, these players need us right now.