Paul Merson predicts no European hangover for Tottenham against West Ham

The former England midfielder believes Tottenham Hotspur will keep their push for a top-four place going when West Ham United visit this weekend.

Writing in his Sky Sports predictions column, Paul Merson has backed Tottenham Hotspur to just edge Sunday lunchtime’s Premier League clash with Sam Allardyce’s West Ham United at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham are unbeaten in their last seven home matches in the league, having lost four of their first six this season, while West Ham have won just one of eight top-flight games since Christmas and go into the match off a 4-0 FA Cup thumping at West Bromwich Albion.

Nevertheless, a successful start to the season sees the Hammers just five points behind sixth-placed Spurs in eighth, having never before claimed more than their 38 points at this stage of a Premier League campaign.

With Allardyce moving to silence the speculation surrounding his uncertain future at the club this week, they will be hoping their London rivals’ Europa League exploits will have left them jaded for the weekend, but Mauricio Pochettino has taken measures to insure no such issues arise.

The in-form Harry Kane was rested along with Ryan Mason and Mousa Dembele for Thursday night's 1-1 draw with Fiorentina in the first-leg of their last-32 tie at home, and all three appear set to return against the Hammers.

Merson still sees the match being a close contest, but believes Spurs will just have enough to keep their push for a Champions League place on track with a 2-1 win.

“The Europa League is back and that will have an effect on Tottenham in the long run – but not against West Ham,” he wrote.

“It’s difficult to play on Thursdays and then again on a Sunday but they can put that to one side against a West Ham side who have hit a brick wall.

“Getting beat as badly as they did against West Brom in the FA Cup was a bad result and Tottenham can make it another bad day for the Hammers.

“Spurs will keep the pressure on in the race for the top four with a very good win.”

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