It’s a London derby in the Premier League on Sunday as West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur square off at the London Stadium in the lunchtime kick off.
It is unusual for this fixture to take place in the top flight where the Hammers are in a loftier league position, but such have been the contrasting fortunes of these two sides this campaign, that is indeed the case.
West Ham hold a 6 point advantage over their North London rivals, sitting in 5th place in the table and level on points with Chelsea in what is sure to be a thrilling race for a Champions League spot between now and the end of the season.
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham were comfortably in the top 4 earlier in the season, even topping the table at one point, but a run of 4 defeats in the last 5 Premier League games for Spurs has seen them plummet to 9th place.
Tottenham did however win comfortably in the first leg of their Round of 32 Europa League tie against Austrian side Wolfsburger on Thursday, with an impressive performance securing a 1-4 away win.
Whether those performance levels can translate to a top flight test with West Ham we will have to wait and see, with David Moyes’ Hammers a far tougher nut to crack this campaign.
In fact, the Irons are currently enjoying their best season since the mid-eighties, and with victory over Sheffield United last time out West Ham have already accrued more points this campaign than they did in the whole of last season.
However, the London Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for Tottenham Hotspur of late, with Spurs having won the last 3 games at the home of the Hammers.
Furthermore, David Moyes hasn’t fared particularly well when Jose Mourinho has been in the opposite dugout, with the West Ham boss yet to get the better of his Portuguese counterpart in 15 attempts – more than any other manager he has come across.
And if he is to secure his first win against the Tottenham gaffer, he’ll have to do it without Angelo Ogbonna, Arthur Masuaku and Andriy Yarmolenko, who all miss out with injury.
Michail Antonio – the only recognised centre forward at the club (and even that is up for debate) – has been missing the last few games and is rated touch-and-go to return this weekend.
Fabian Balbuena is also an uncertainty having picked up an injury during the warm up in the FA Cup game with Manchester United ten days ago.
Tottenham also have injury concerns with Gio Lo Celso and Serge Aurier ruled out of the short trip to the London Stadium, whilst Sergio Reguilon will need to prove his fitness if he is to be involved against West Ham.
Dele Alli and Gareth Bale both started for Spurs in their midweek Europa League win and may retain their spots against the Hammers after impressive performances.
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur is a 12pm kick off on Sunday 21st February.