West Ham v Tottenham: Will Javier Hernandez or Jan Vertonghen win key battle?
By Ollie Francis
Last Updated: 23/09/17 11:04am
Will Javier Hernandez or Jan Vertonghen win the key battle when West Ham host Tottenham on Saturday? We take a look at the stats...
West Ham and Tottenham renew their hotly-contested rivalry at the London Stadium live on Sky Sports Premier League this Saturday lunchtime, with the hosts hoping to repeat the performance that led to a 1-0 home win against Spurs in May.
That result ended any lingering title hopes Mauricio Pochettino's men had - but if the Hammers are to maintain their 100 per cent record against Spurs at their new home, Javier Hernandez will likely have to win his individual battle with Jan Vertonghen.
West Ham's new £16m striker has scored two of their four Premier League goals this season, both coming at Southampton, but the Mexican will be hoping to improve on a poor personal record against Saturday's visitors.
Hernandez has failed to score in eight career appearances against Tottenham, including both Champions League games for Bayer Leverkusen last season.
He hasn't found the net in six league appearances against Spurs, which is the most he has played against any team without scoring.
Javier Hernandez - least favourite PL opponents
One of Hernandez's main roles on Saturday - as well as being a threat in the opposition's box - will be to press high on Tottenham's defenders and attempt to stop Pochettino's team building from the back. Slaven Bilic's team did that successfully in May and were able to capitalise on the rewards.
Tottenham's backline have a lot of the ball under Pochettino and Vertonghen and his team-mate Toby Alderweireld have had more touches in the Premier League than any other defenders this season.
Most touches in PL this season - defenders
|Nicolas Otamendi||Man City||448|
|Antonio Valencia||Man Utd||419|
Non-stop work-rate is very much part of Hernandez's game, with only Pablo Zabaleta covering more distance for West Ham this season, so the energetic former Manchester United man has the capacity to limit the time and touches Spurs defenders have on Saturday.
West Ham distance covered in PL this season
Keeping the ball out of the net is Vertonghen's primary job and the Belgian was a mainstay of the best defence in the Premier League last season as Tottenham conceded just 26 goals. Since the start of last season, the 30-year-old has made far more clearances, headed clearances and interceptions than any other team-mate.
Tottenham defending since August 2016
|Most clearances||Most headed clearances||Most interceptions|
|Vertonghen - 251||Vertonghen - 135||Vertonghen - 45|
|Alderwiereld - 180||Alderwiereld - 95||Dier - 43|
|Dier - 156||Dier - 156||Wanyama - 41|
|Walker - 94||Davies - 49||Walker - 38|
|Davies - 92||Walker - 46||Dembele - 29|
On Saturday lunchtime, West Ham will be hoping to build on consecutive clean sheets against Huddersfield and West Brom, while Tottenham will attempt to avoid failing to score in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since May 2015.
The Hammers will be hoping to replicate the performance and result against Spurs in May and key to that could be if Chicharito can end his scoring drought against Tottenham and can win his duel with Spurs' defensive stalwart.