Opportunity. It has been 55 years since Tottenham Hotspur won a league title. By the end of today, a win could have Spurs in first place in the Premier League with just 10 games to go. The Lilywhites have been lifted by an unbelievable seven game winning streak that has pushed the team towards the league lead as the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City have fallen off. Spurs just keep finding ways to win, as unexpected goals by Nacer Chadli and Danny Rose lifted Spurs to a massive 2-1 comeback win over Swansea on Sunday. But with another London derby looming, the test will be on to see if Spurs can rise to the occasion.
Spurs travel to the Boleyn Ground to face a West Ham team that sits in sixth place, just four points behind Manchester City for fourth place. The Hammers have been solid in attack and defense this year, as Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, and Michail Antonio are threats in attack, while the central defensive pairing of James Collins and Angelo Ogbonna has remained strong. The biggest test may come in the center of the pitch, as West Ham will try to get the better of a tired and depleted spurs midfield.
Can Spurs break into first place with a needed London derby win? We shall see.
How to Watch
Date/time: Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 7:45 p.m.. (UK), 2:45 p.m. ET (USA)
Venue: Boleyn Ground, London, UK
Official: Andre Marriner
TV: Not Televised (Premier League Extra Time Channels Only) (USA), Not Televised (UK), Sportsnet World (Canada), Fox Sports 3 (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also BBC Radio London and TalkSport
Things get thinner and thinner in central midfield, as Mousa Dembele is out with a groin injury and Dele Alli is a doubt with injury. In their absence, we are predicting that Ryan Mason is turned to, playing in central midfield ahead of Dier and behind Eriksen. We also predict another round of fullback rotation, as the Trippier-Davies line replaces the Rose-Walker line ahead of this weekend's North London Derby. However, it would hardly be a shock to see Nacer Chadli start, likely over Son Heung-Min or Erik Lamela.
As for the Prediction League, Matthew and Ed both dropped perfect predictions on the Swansea match, setting up a tight duel at the top. The rules remain the same in the Prediction League -- one point for a correct prediction and a bonus point for getting the score correct. Here are the current standings:
|Earl of Shoop||12|
Dustin Menno: OH HEAVEN HELP ME BUT I STILL BELIEVE WHAT EVEN IS LIFE. Spurs 1-0
Skipjack: 2-2 Draw. I blame the lasagna.
Ben Daniels: Coming this Wednesday to a TV near you: Lasagnagate 2: Lasagna's Revenge. Once again Spurs find themselves on the precipice of a historic achievement, and once again West Ham stands in their way. Spurs smash the Hammers 4-1.
55thVin: It's a street fight, but Tom Carroll comes off the bench to make the assist for a last gasp winner. 3-2 Spurs and Gareth Bale runs across the pitch at the whistle to hug Mauricio.
Luke Zimmerman: The opportunity to get on top of the table is too much for this team right now. Perhaps if they survive the gauntlet and stay healthy, it'll come in due time, but 2-2 Draw for now.
Earl of Shoop: The only good thing West Ham ever did was get relegated, and they even managed to screw that up by getting promoted back to the big boy league. A sampling of dumb West Ham things: their colors are stupid; Andy Carroll; bubbles are stupid; they play at Matthew Upson Park; and why is a team called west anything on the east end of the city? Probably some reasonable historic explanation there but this is a sports website and we don't have time. Oh, and they hate us way more than we hate them, so let's fix that. Spurs hammer whatever these jokers call themselves, 3-1. Bonus Joke: "Irons undone by press."
Matt Pachniuk: The stage is set for glory and this team doesn't shy away from challenges. Don't mess with a streak and don't bet against this team. It won't be easy, but Spurs grab another late winner. 2-1 Spurs.
Jake Meador: Tight 2-1 victory. Payet scores for the Hammers, but a brace from Kane is enough to secure the three points. 2-1 Spurs
GN Punk: That which shall not be named can happen with a victory. West Ham have been very good at home and I expect this to be a slugfest. Spurs, however, have been one of the best road teams in the league. We should win this. I'm still not saying what happens if we do win it. Spurs 2-1
Brian Mechanick: This feels like another tight one, especially ahead of a North London Derby on Sunday. But I'm not going to say the magic is lost yet. 1-0 Spurs
Ed F.: 2-1 Spurs
Bryan Ashlock: A win puts us top of the league, so of course we lose. 1-0 West Ham