Jamie Redknapp says Andy Carroll could be a 'nightmare' for Tottenham ahead of derby

Sky Sports commentator Jamie Redknapp looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Manchester City at Camp Nou on March 18, 2015 in...

The West Ham star could be crucial against Tottenham according to the former Spurs player.

Sky Sports commentator Jamie Redknapp looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Manchester City at Camp Nou on March 18, 2015 in...

With Tottenham Hotspur's visit to West Ham United looking like the clash of the weekend, former Spurs captain Jamie Redknapp has been talking to Sky Sports about the player his old team won't be looking forward to facing.

And it's not the first or last time striker Andy Carroll will be discussed in such a way, with the powerful Geordie a handful for most opponents.

Andy Carroll of West Ham United and Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur challenge for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at Boleyn...Andy Carroll of West Ham United and Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur challenge for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at Boleyn...

West Ham have struggled to keep the 28-year-old fit since he joined in - initially on loan - in 2012, but he has been a threat whenever he has made it on to the pitch, as Redknapp pointed out.

"Spurs are also going to have to find a way of coping with a fit-again Andy Carroll," Redknapp said. "I think he's the key player in this game - and he could be a nightmare for the Tottenham centre-backs.

"Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen won't be relishing the task of marking him on Saturday. As a defender, you'd much rather play against Javier Hernandez because you know what he is going to do. Hernandez will be sharp in the box and you have to be alive to any chances he might get. But you'll be smashed by Carroll."

Andy Carroll of West am United  celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Hull City and West Ham United at KCOM Stadium on April 1, 2017 in Hull,...Andy Carroll of West am United celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Hull City and West Ham United at KCOM Stadium on April 1, 2017 in Hull,...

West Ham have struggled to keep the 28-year-old fit since he joined in - initially on loan - in 2012, but he has been a threat whenever he has made it on to the pitch, as Redknapp pointed out.

"West Ham are a different team when he's fit and firing," he added. "The stats back that up. Since he first joined them on loan in August 2012, their win percentage (38% v 26.9%), points per game (1.4 v 1.1) and average goals scored (1.4 v 1.1) are all significantly better when Carroll has been involved."

Though West Ham will be motivated to add a third straight home win against their rivals, following on from the 1-0 win over a Tottenham team challenging for the title in the spring, Mauricio Pochettino and co will surely be using that result to fire the players up after some frustrating home results.

But if they come up against Carroll on form, it is only going to be an even more explosive encounter.

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