Tottenham are chasing a top-four finish and Champions League qualification, but will West Ham put a dent in their European challenge?
|By PAUL GOUGH
In-form Tottenham face a danger game in the English Premier League on Monday night - away to arch-rivals West Ham - in their bid to overtake Chelsea and move into third spot on the table.
Spurs have lost just one of their past 14 games in all competitions and a win against the Hammers on Monday night will see them move two points clear of stuttering Chelsea in the race for automatic qualification for the group stages of the Champions League next season.
But with their greatest rivals Arsenal just a point behind them in fifth spot - ahead of their trip to Spurs next Sunday - Tottenham also risk dropping out of the top four and again missing out on Champions League football next season should they slip up over the next fortnight.
With the Hammers having lost three of their past four EPL games and sitting a distant 13th on the table, Spurs are the clear $2.32 favourites for this game at Betfair and even shorter odds of $2.20 at sportsbet.com.au and $2.15 at Centrebet.
The Hammers are priced at $3.30 at Centrebet, $3.40 at sportsbet.com.au and best odds of $3.50 at Betfair.
|West Ham v Tottenham to draw at $3.50 at Betfair
||Gareth Bale to score the first goal at $6.40 at Betfair|
While Spurs have won eight of the past 11 games between the clubs - including a 3-1 home win earlier this season - they did lose on their last trip to Upton Park in the 2010-11 season.
And the Hammers will have added motivation given the club will be officially marking the 20th anniversary of the death of the club's greatest ever player and England's 1966 World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore.
However Spurs are proving a tougher nut to crack this year under new manager Andre Villas-Boas, as evidenced by their last minute equaliser away to Lyon on Thursday night which enabled the club to advance to the last 16 of the Europa League.
With all that in mind, backing the draw looks the way to go in what should be a huge game and a fantastic atmosphere.
The draw is priced at $3.30 at sportsbet.com.au, $3.35 at Centrebet and best value of $3.50 at Betfair.
But if you are looking for a bit more value, consider backing a 1-1 draw at odds of $7.60 at Betfair in their correct score betting markets while Spurs' superstar Welsh winger Gareth Bale - who has dominated Spurs' scoring since the ankle injury to Jermaine Defoe - looks a good bet at $6.40 at Betfair to score the game's opening goal.
* Note prices subject to change