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West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – London Stadium – Sunday (Noon) – Preview
Brian Dear remained cautious ahead of West Ham United’s big London derby with out of sorts Tottenham Hotspur.
While the Hammers have put pressure on those occupying the European berths, their neighbours from the North of the capital have struggled for form, resulting in a stream of criticism aimed towards manager, Jose Mourinho and his misfiring charges.
“Unusually, I think we go into the Tottenham game as the favourites for the first time in ages,” Dear told Yellow Sport.
“Of course, that speaks volumes for the job David Moyes is doing at the London Stadium. But I think we must respect the fact Tottenham still possess some terrific footballers. It would be naive to write them off ahead of the game.
“Despite Tottenham’s troubles, Harry Kane and Heung-Mn Son have been in superb form this season, while in Pierre-Emile Højbjerg they possess one of the best midfield players in the country at the moment.
“But defensively Spurs have been questionable. Not a good sign when the manager insists on building from the back and conceding possession. This is where we can profit. Particularly in Michail Antonio is fit. He seems to have plenty of joy against Spurs at the best of times.”
Dear continued: “I didn’t think we were at our best against Sheffield United on Monday night, but we didn’t need to be. We did the simple things right and got the job done with the minimum of fuss. We won 3-0 without really getting out of second gear which is quite impressive.”
On Sunday’s contest, Dear added: “I don’t think there will be much in it. People raise their game in a derby. I think in the past, Tottenham supporters have often accused West Ham’s players of doing such like when we’ve played them.
“But perhaps on this occasion, it is their players who will be forced to lift it. Certainly, going into the game the pressure is firmly on Tottenham to react and they will know that.”
Brian Dear’s prediction: West Ham United 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Jeevesie’s prediction: West Ham United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur