Massive boost for Slaven Bilic as star striker Diafra Sakho gets the green light for Spurs match

Slaven Bilic

West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic has received a massive boost on the injury front ahead of the big London derby with fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Bilic has been counting the cost of a bruising encounter with Everton last time which saw star player Dimitri Payet and £12 million striker Enner Valencia ruled with long-term ankle injuries.

Payet faces three months on the sidelines while Valencia, who had only just returned from three months out, will spend the next two months in the treatment room.

Bilic finally has some good news from his medical team, though, with the club's head of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke revealing star striker Diafra Sakho will be fit for Sunday's huge derby at White Hart Lane.

Hammers co-owner David Gold said last week that he hoped the Senegal striker would be back in time for the game against Mauricio Pochettino's side.

Look who's back?

And speaking to the club's official website in his latest column, Vandenbroucke has reassured fans that will be the case.

"We have some positive news regarding Diafra Sakho, who has returned to full training following his recovery from a quadriceps injury suffered ahead of the Watford game.

"Diafra will be available for Sunday’s game at Tottenham Hotspur."

So there you have it, word from the man who knows best.

Sakho could be the difference

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 former Metz man'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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