Defensive returns bolster West Ham chances in Tottenham visit

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An initial look at Tottenham’s visit to West Ham would see many a punter scrambling to get on the fourth-placed away side at 11/10.

However, a glance at the team news ahead of this fixture makes the 5/2 price regarding a Hammers win look much better.

Jermain Defoe made the difference when these teams met at White Hart Lane earlier in the season, with the pint-sized forward hitting a brace in a 3-1 Spurs win.

His exile from the Tottenham lineup is set to extend at Upton Park though, as he continues to struggle with an ankle problem.

Emmanuel Adebayor is likely to deputise, but the Togo international has looked a shell of his former self this season, scoring just three times in 20 appearances across all competitions.

And with Sam Allardyce ready to welcome back two regular first-team defenders, travelling Spurs could struggle in the attacking department.

James Collins’ return could prove the biggest plus for the Hammers, who have kept only one clean sheet in the six games the Welshman has missed with a hamstring injury.

The former Aston Villa centre-half has started five of the seven games in which West Ham weren’t breached this term, and his physical style has the potential to frustrate the out-of-form Adebayor.

Meanwhile, Joey O’Brien’s fitness will be a plus for a side aiming to deal with an on-fire Gareth Bale.

Right-back O’Brien has been a model of consistency for the Hammers this season, appearing in 24 of their 26 league games, chipping in with two goals along the way.

And his re-integration into a settled back four is a huge plus point for the hosts.

In other team news, Hugo Lloris could return in goal for Tottenham, replacing Brad Friedel, who has started the club’s past two Europa League games.

Younes Kaboul, Tom Huddlestone and Sandro are all set to miss out for the visitors though, with each still struggling with knee injuries.

As such, a full-strength West Ham team could prove value at 5/2, as their returning defenders look good to stifle a potentially blunt Spurs frontline.

Ladbrokes will refund losing first scorer bets as a free bet if Andy Carroll scores first or last in this clash meanwhile, as he did in the return fixture at White Hart Lane.

The on-loan Liverpool man notched the only goal of the game in his last outing at Upton Park too, and is 7/1 to open or close the scoring here.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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