Tottenham v West Ham – Key Battles

When these sides met back in October we saw several battles that were somewhat unexpected at White Hart Lane.

The Hammers players were playing in the unusual formation of 4-6-0 and it appeared to catch Spurs off guard, allowing Sam Allardyce’s side to capitalise all over the park and run out comfortable 3-0 winners.

And this Capital One Cup Round 5 meeting promises to provide much of the same approach from both sides, but this time there will be surprises when it comes to the key battles on the pitch.

Here are the three big clashes to look out for…

Hugo Lloris v Jussi Jaaskelainen

At one stage this season both keepers boasted the best record in the Premier League. Despite that changing somewhat in recent weeks, both still play important roles within their respective teams.

Their place in the starting XI for this cup tie may be questionable, but it could be argued that at this late stage in the competition there can be no room for resting your best performers.

With a combined 13 Premier League clean sheets between them so far this season, both have been on top of their games and, additionally, will be looking to get back to their best after conceding an unusually increased amount of goals in recent weeks.

If they both play, they’ll both be important to their side’s chances of progressing to the Capital One Cup semi-finals.

Christian Eriksen v Ravel Morrison

Ravel Morrison stole the show at White Hart Lane in October and has showed that he is capable of performing consistently at this level week in, week out with his performances for the Hammers and England U21’s since.

However, Eriksen’s first season at White Hart Lane hasn’t got off to the best of starts. One goal in twelve appearances in all competitions hasn’t really helped him live up to his £11million transfer fee.

But the Dane has a big chance to start impressing now Andre Villas-Boas has left the club, and he’ll want to use the West Ham game as the perfect opportunity to show the Spurs faithful what he can do. If he can keep Morrison quiet then he should have no problems in winning this midfield battle and aiding his side’s quest for Capital One Cup glory.

Andros Townsend v Guy Demel

Townsend has been in fine form for both Spurs and England this season, but he struggled to make a real impact when he came up against West Ham’s Guy Demel in October.

Although Demel is not known for his blistering pace, while Townsend undoubtedly is, he managed to restrict the England international to cutting in and shooting from long range. It was arguably his best performance in a West Ham shirt to date and it went a long way in ensuring West Ham were rarely threatened.

That will be on Townsend’s mind when they do battle this time around and Demel will have his work cut out if the 22-year-old winger can find the space behind him and get the ball into the West Ham box.

And that’s exactly what Andre Villas-Boas will be looking for Townsend to do as West Ham continue to struggle with injuries to defenders and face at least another six weeks without Winston Reid.

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