Spurs v West Ham has proved an odd derby fixture since Sam Allardyce returned the Irons to the Premier League after a season away at the end of the 2011/12 campaign, which coincided with Andre Villas-Boas taking over at White Hart Lane.
Allardyce vs Villas-Boas resulted in three over 2.5-goal games, with one team scoring exactly three in each fixture, Spurs comfortably taking the first 3-1, then only just scraping the second 3-2, before their rather famous Ravel Morrison-inspired 3-0 home capitulation last term.
West Ham returned to north London in the Capital One Cup the game after Villas-Boas’ December 2013 departure and won again, for only the second time since 1999 (the first being two months earlier) having been 1-0 down with 10 minutes to go.
Some sense of normality was resumed when Allardyce’s side were beaten 1-0 at the Boleyn Ground in Mauricio Pochettino’s first competitive match in charge of the Lilywhites, but only after a 2-0 May home victory for the Irons back in the dog days of Tim Sherwood’s dreadful Spurs reign.
With all that in mind, it’s beyond tempting to side with the visitors to either claim victory or draw at 10/11, particularly considering West Ham have lost just two of their past ten all-competition matches, while Spurs are winless in two.
For a couple of club’s whose fans claim deep mutual dislike, Spurs and West Ham have been fairly generous to one another over the past couple of seasons.
AVB’s gift to Big Sam was playing Michael Dawson in a high line in the 3-0 embarrassment, when Morrison danced past the Yorkshire stalwart repeatedly, but Mark Noble repaid the favour by missing a penalty in east London back in August, when the sides were level and Spurs a man down.
You can have 3/1 with bwin.com that there’ll be exactly one penalty in the match, with Noble 5/1 to score at any time.