West Ham v Spurs: Danny Higginbotham analyses the tactical battle
Last Updated: 23/09/17 11:03am
How can West Ham beat Tottenham's intense pressing game? Danny Higginbotham takes a look at the tactical options ahead of Saturday's Sky Live London derby...
West Ham signed Javier Hernandez this summer, however, despite the Mexico international's finishing ability, he does not possess the pace or height required to offer Slaven Bilic's side an outlet when they come up against high-pressing teams like Tottenham, explains Higginbotham.
However, with Andy Carroll fit again, the striker can lead the line and offer the Hammers a long-pass option from the back - meaning the defenders don't have to play risky shorter passes into midfield. Carroll can then win headers or hold up the ball to move West Ham up the pitch.
This then has the knock-on effect of encouraging Spurs' midfield to drop deeper to deal with the long passes, freeing up space for West Ham's defence to play short passes into midfield more safely.
Of course, this approach has the drawback of shifting Hernandez into a wider role, where he may be less effective and isolated. So how does Bilic get the best of both worlds?
Higginbotham says he wouldn't be surprised to see West Ham go to a 4-2-3-1 formation against Spurs, with another summer signing Marko Arnautovic take up an attacking position on the left and Hernandez stepping back inside to play off Carroll's knock-downs and lay-offs.
Watch the video above to see Higginbotham discuss the tactical battle which could play out on Saturday and then tune into West Ham v Tottenham from 11.30am on Sky Sports Premier League on Saturday.