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Nic Ladds 18th Mar 2011 - 16:42

Can the resurgent Hammers earn their Spurs?

Two sides desperate for points do battle on Saturday afternoon, but they need points for very different reasons.

Tottenham (8/13) come into this match knowing they are three points behind Chelsea and that much coveted fourth spot so maximum points is vital. They also know their quarter-final opponents in the Champions League will be Real Madrid, whether eyes and minds will be on that tie - who knows.

West Ham (5/1) haven't won at White Hart Lane since 1999 when a certain Harry Redknapp was the manager of The Hammers. Since then they have lost seven of their ten trips to the Lane and haven't scored there since 2005.

With such a gulf in class and morale it is hard to see anything than a home win for a Spurs side who have had a ten day rest since their draw with AC Milan. Tottenham have lost just one match at home all season while West Ham have won just twice on the road.

However, The Hammers have experienced a slight resurgence of late which has left them with a real hope of survival. They have lost just one league match in six and have scored 15 goals in their last five matches in all competitions.

Although on paper this should really be a pretty simple home win, a Champions League quarter-final side with aspirations of the top four taking on a side in the relegation zone on home soil, West Ham will feel this match has come at the perfect time.

The visiting Hammers will take even more confidence from the fact that Spurs have dropped points in five of nine Premier League games which followed Champions League duty. Also half of their six defeats this season came off the back of European action. Circumstances are slightly different this time with such a big gap in games though.

Winger Gareth Bale is expected to be fit despite a midweek injury scare and may start his first game for two months. He is 15/2 to get the first goal or 9/4 to score anytime.

West Ham strikers Demba Ba and Frederic Piquionne are both rated doubtful so without them, all the pressure will be on Carlton Cole to get the goals. If you fancy the visitors to score then he will be the man to do it at 8/1 first and 11/4 anytime.

Although a rested Spurs side should win this I would be wary of the draw (13/5) against a resurgent West Ham side. If you fancy The Irons to get something from the game then I would go for the 5/4 West Ham or draw in the double chance market.

As Spurs have lost just one of their last 24 Premier League home matches, it wouldn't be a surprise if they ran away with this one though so I would look towards the 2-0 and 3-0 scorelines at 15/2 and 11/1 respectively.

Beware of an injured beast fighting for survival though as a West Ham win can move them level on points with 12th placed Stoke in this early kick-off.



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