The Christmas roster of Premier League fixtures is almost over but two of the best games have been saved until last to provide a treat for armchair fans. On Wednesday evening Arsenal host Chelsea at the Emirates with both locked in the battle for top four places. 24 hours later, it’s another London derby as West Ham travel to Wembley to take on arch-rivals Spurs.
Harry Kane missed out on a start in the 2-0 win at Swansea on Tuesday night, but the England striker made his mark in the 22 minutes he was on the pitch, setting up Dele Alli with a sumptuous pass to put the game beyond the Swans. He is expected to be back to face the Hammers and should spearhead a Tottenham attack which struggled slightly in his absence in that win. West Ham left it to the very last minute of injury-time to snatch the winner against West Brom on Tuesday night, Andy Carroll completing a brace with a fine finish from a tight angle. That 2-1 win saw the Hammers rise out of the relegation zone but they are still in the thick of the battle in a congested bottom half of the Premier League.
Arsenal have been back in good form of late and were unlucky to concede a dubious penalty late on in the 1-1 draw at West Brom on Sunday. However, they have only gathered five points from six games against the Premier League’s other ‘big’ sides, and that poor record against top teams has often been an Achilles heel for Arsene Wenger’s men. Chelsea do not look like defending their title this season but they sit in third place with a sizeable seven-point gap over the Gunners back in 6th. The Pensioners have also been in good form and thumped Stoke 5-0 on Saturday. Crucially, the Blues have had an extra days’ rest ahead of this match and that could give them a slight advantage.
Tottenham v West Ham
First up we’re taking a risk and backing over 3.5 goals when Spurs host West Ham, at odds of +150 with BetVictor.
This local derby is usually full of incident and quite often features plenty of goals. Three of the last four meetings have ended 3-2, twice in favour of Spurs and once in favour of the Hammers. The latter was earlier this season as West Ham came from 2-0 down to claim an unlikely victory at Wembley in the Carabao Cup. The two sides have each won three of the last six fixtures but Spurs are surely strong favourites to win on Thursday night. They’ve won six of the last seven matches, with only the 4-1 defeat at Manchester City upsetting the rhythm.
Harry Kane has been in red-hot form of late, scoring hat-tricks in his last two starts against Southampton and Burnley. The England marksman can be backed to score at any time at odds of -200 with BetVictor and we wouldn’t put anyone off laying money on Kane to find the net at some point during the 90 minutes.
He’s got a good record against West Ham – four goals in the last three Premier League meetings – and the Hammer’s defence has been questionable in recent games. David Moyes has watched his side concede three each against Newcastle and Bournemouth, and it was a tough slog to come back and beat West Brom on Tuesday after falling behind to James McClean’s early goal. They have been capable of scoring at the other end too though, with Marko Arnautovic beginning to shine at his new club. West Ham have managed 10 goals in the last four Premier League games and will probably need to get on the scoresheet here if they are to get anything from the game.
Arsenal v Chelsea
Arsenal and Chelsea played out a 0-0 draw when they met at Stamford Bridge in September and they could be set for another stalemate at odds of +250 with BetVictor.
Chelsea have won five of the last six games with a 0-0 draw at Everton sandwiched in-between. Away from home they also drew 1-1 at Liverpool but went down to a shock 1-0 defeat at West Ham. Overall though, that is one of only two defeats on the road this term – the other coming in a 2-1 loss at Crystal Palace. Of the other top sides in the league, Chelsea lost to Manchester City but have posted wins over Spurs and Manchester United.
Arsenal have been excellent at home this season, winning eight of ten league games, but they were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United at the Emirates back at the start of December. They hit back from 2-0 down at home to Liverpool just prior to Christmas to lead 3-2, but couldn’t hold on and were pegged back to a 3-3 draw. Wednesday night’s game is tough to call and the draw is the best value play.
Spurs v West Ham – Over 3.5 goals
Thursday 4th January, 20:00 GMT
Spurs v West Ham – Kane to score at any time
Thursday 4th January, 20:00 GMT
Arsenal and Chelsea to Draw
Wednesday 3rd January, 19:45 GMT
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