Major boost for West Ham as star striker Diafra Sakho is tipped to make derby with Tottenham

West Ham Dugout

West Ham United have received a welcome boost on the injury front which is not such good news for their next opponents Tottenham Hotspur.

The Hammers have been rocked by a double injury blow to star player Dimitri Payet and £12 million striker Enner Valencia during the 1-1 draw with Everton last time out.

Payet will be out until February while Valencia's injury is also expected to be long-term.

It is the worst possible timing for West Ham boss Slaven Bilic who takes the Irons to fierce rivals Spurs after the international break with the sides neck and neck in the Premier League table just outside the Champions League places.

Sakho's return?

But after a week to forget there has been a major boost with news from the treatment room that star striker Diafra Sakho, a player who is arguably as important to West Ham as Payet, should be fit for the big derby.

Sakho has missed the last two games through injury and the Hammers have failed to win either, losing 2-0 to Watford and then drawing with the Toffees.

Before his injury Bilic's side were seven games unbeaten and sat third in the league.

Worried West Ham fans have some cheer, though, after the club's head of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke told the Hammers' official website that Sakho should make it back in time for Spurs.

"Diafra Sakho has been out running on the pitch this week and we are very confident we can recover him from his quadriceps injury for the trip to Tottenham, should he not suffer any setbacks," Vandenbroucke told

Vandenbroucke's comments have also been backed up by West Ham co-owner David Gold in response to a concerned fan on Twitter.

He said: "I am hopeful that Sakho will be available for selection against Spurs."

Bad news for upwardly mobile Spurs

Sakho's importance to Bilic's freeflowing attacking style has never been more evident than in the two games he has missed through injury in recent weeks.

It is not just the Senegal star's goals but his all action performances, chasing and harrying the defenders, running the channels and giving the opposition a torrid time.

Sakho opens up space for his teammates to exploit and with the infinitely less mobile Andy Carroll up front in his absence the Hammers have been nowhere near as dangerous going forwards.

If Sakho is back, though, it is bad news for Mauricio Pochettino's side who will face a different animal altogether.

He scored in the game at White Hart Lane last season and was the man of the match as Spurs snatched a last gasp 2-2 draw.

The derby is sure to be a tight affair and Sakho could well be the difference between the two sides.

In saying that the North London side are upwardly mobile and have their own star striker Harry Kane scoring goals for fun again.

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