West Ham United make the short trip to Tottenham Hotspur tonight with their Premier League lives on the line.
West Ham were the first team to win at Tottenham’s new ground last season.
But this season the Hammers find themselves deep in the relegation mire, nursing injuries to key players and looking ripe for a defeat to their bitter rivals Tottenham.
Hammers boss David Moyes is under pressure to get the points needed to secure survival.
Jose Mourinho is under pressure to push for the European spots and get Spurs playing entertaining football again.
West Ham were woeful in the 2-0 defeat to Wolves while Tottenham looked fitter in their draw with Manchester United.
In the grand scheme of things a point for West Ham “away” at Tottenham would be a hugely positive result.
And that is what Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas predicts will happen.
West Ham were lethargic and toothless against Wolves.
But speaking ahead of the trip to Tottenham, Nicholas told Sky Sports he believes a fired up and ‘stubborn’ West Ham will set out to frustrate Spurs, and be successful.
“There is no home advantage again for Tottenham…. At the back (against Manchester United), playing Eric Dier instead of Toby Alderweireld was a weird one and Spurs looked as though they are unsure what their jobs were,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
“For that reason I think West Ham could nick a point. The Hammers are in deep trouble.
“They made silly mistakes against Wolves, but this is the state of play for them. West Ham will try to spoil the party, as they attempted against Wolves, and they do have that in them.
To spoil the party you have to be invited first
“I can see them being stubborn in this one. I am not convinced by Tottenham or Arsenal… West Ham will stifle and choke them, and they should get through the 90 minutes.”
Those qualities are not things most West Ham fans would recognise about their team, particularly under Moyes.
That may well be Nicholas’s fellow Scot’s intention. But pulling it off and seeing it through is another thing entirely.
West Ham must pull a rabbit or two out of the hat to stay up.
What better place to start than Tottenham away.