Is West Ham star Stewart Downing's statement about Tottenham wrong?

Baines, Downing, Rooney and Henderson England

West Ham star Stewart Downing believes Spurs are no better than the Hammers.

West Ham winger Stewart Downing is brimming with confidence ahead of their clash with Tottenham Hotspur next weekend. 

The 30-year-old believes they can win the London derby and do not intend on going into the game as underdogs.

He told The Mirror: "We owe Tottenham one, after they beat us in the last minute on the opening day of the season, and I don’t accept they’re going to finish above us.

"They spent a lot of money and man-for-man I don’t think they’re any better than us."

What do the figures say? 

  PointsGoalsChances CreatedPossession PercentagePassing AccuracyScoring V Shooting AccuracyTackles Accuracy
Tottenham 43 39 267 55% 81% 11% 80%
West Ham 38 36 242 45% 75% 11% 75%

Tottenham come into the game five points up on the Hammers, and a win either way can be pivotal for both sides. There are a number of key areas in which Spurs come out on top too.

They create more chances, enjoy better possession, pass the ball better and win a higher percentage of their tackles too - but in no area is their advantage substantial.

So is he wrong for saying it?

While statistics and league position may place West Ham below Tottenham, there is no reason why Downing is incorrect in his belief.

In terms of positions in the league, 6th and 8th, both teams have everything to play for. When the teams met earlier in the season, it was a game West Ham dominated, but were sucker-punched with an Eric Dier goal in the last minute won it for Spurs.

Both teams have strengthened and improved since that opening day fixture, but West Ham's players will not go there with an inferiority complex given how close that game was and their league position.

Do Hammers have an edge?

While West Ham are missing key striker Andy Carroll, it could be argued they have an edge coming into the game. While Spurs had a weekend off this FA Cup weekend just gone, the Hammers have all week to focus on this match.

Tottenham on the other hand have an important game on Thursday night in the Europa League, which will occupy their minds and the player's fitness heading into the Premier League game. With West Ham keen to move on from their FA Cup embarrassment against West Brom, Tottenham will have anything but an easy game against Sam Allardyce's side.

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