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Nic Ladds 27th Dec 2009 - 16:58

Defoe and co can halt the Hammers in their tracks

There have been whispers around Upton Park recently that West Ham are on the comeback trail and while a couple of results have gone their way, the Hammers are about to get a rude awakening by 4/11 chances Tottenham.

Gianfranco Zola has seen his side draw with Chelsea and then beat Portsmouth at home which is certainly an improvement on the last few months but the Blues side they held has been playing poorly for sometime while there are a few sides that haven't beaten Pompey this term and even at 6/1 the away side make little appeal here.

Harry Redknapp rested Jermain Defoe (7/2 to score first) and Luka Modric (8/1) when Spurs grabbed a good point at Fulham on Boxing Day and the pair, with Defoe in particular likely to be back to terrorise the poor West Ham defence.

West Ham have not won at White Hart Lane since 1999 and Spurs have won six of the last seven encounters with the Hammers so even a draw at 3/1 could be out of their reach. Tottenham have generally been excellent at home with the recent loss to Wolves coming after what turned out to be a Christmas party in Ireland and Redknapp, who loves to beat West Ham, will be going all out to win here.

Whoever starts out of Peter Crouch (7/2) and Robbie Keane (4/1) will provide able support for Defoe with Aaron Lennon (8/1) and Niko Kranjcar (7/1) all having an eye for goal and the ability to make it an uncomfortable afternoon for the Hammers.

Alessandro Diamanti has been largely responsible for West Ham's mini revival as he has scored three in his last three and is 9/1 to get West Ham off to a dream start with the first goal and Luis Jiminez (6/1 to score anytime) and Jack Collison (7/1) look the pair most likely to help the front man out.

Matches involving these sides often seem to have goals in them so over 2 match goals at 7/10 looks a near enough certainty while over 3 match goals is also available at a very backable 15/8.

Tottenham have not drawn for 15 home games since way back in February so scores like 1-1 at 13/2 and 2-2 at 16/1 may be best avoided and instead get stuck in to Tottenham 2-0 at 5/1, 2-1 at 6/1 or even 4-0 at 16/1 given how Spurs have the ability to take teams apart if in the mood, just ask Wigan.

If the match odds of 4/11 are too skinny for some then backing Spurs -1 goal at 6/5 or even -2 goals at 16/5 could be an option. If you think that this West Ham side really are about to turn things around then you may see them with a goal head start for safety at 13/8 an absolute gift given Spurs' sometimes unpredictable nature.

This is the kind of game Tottenham need to win to continue to challenge for Champions League places and with form and history on their side they should be able to ensure that West Ham's miserable run at White Hart Lane continues.

Jermain Defoe to score first - 7/2

Tottenham -2 goals - 16/5


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