Preview: West Ham United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between West Ham and Tottenham at Upton Park as the hosts look to beat their London rivals for the third time this season.

Two managers who could soon be out of work go head-to-head on Saturday lunchtime as Sam Allardyce's West Ham United host Tim Sherwood's Tottenham Hotspur.

Sherwood's position at White Hart Lane has been the subject of speculation ever since he replaced Andre Villas-Boas in December, despite a record of 12 wins from 20 games making him, statistically, the club's most successful boss in the Premier League era.

A contract which runs until next summer seems to mean very little to the Spurs board, who are believed to have already made up their mind that another fresh face is needed at the end of the season.

Frank de Boer is the new favourite, with the Ajax head coach claiming this week that he will soon sit down with Spurs, who have allegedly approached the Dutch giants for talks about taking charge.

Tottenham have described this report as "wholly inaccurate", but do seem to maintain an interest in former Barcelona defender De Boer, who turned down the chance to succeed Villas-Boas in the New Year.

Meanwhile, rumours are suggesting that Allardyce, who was appointed Hammers manager in June 2011, could be axed if they suffer defeat in the London derby at Upton Park this weekend.

The 59-year-old has virtually guided the Irons to top-flight safety, with five points separating them and the relegation zone with two games of the campaign remaining, but a run of four straight defeats and complaints over his unattractive and direct playing style has seen the pressure on his job resurface.

Allardyce will likely recall James Collins to partner Winston Reid in central defence after James Tomkins limped off in the 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns last time out.

Joey O'Brien has resumed training following a dislocated shoulder, but is unlikely to be rushed back with so little to play for between now and May 11. Marco Boriello completes West Ham's injury list.

After missing the loss to the Baggies due to personal reasons, Matt Taylor is available again, but will probably only be named on the bench alongside Joe Cole, who appears poised to leave the club for a second time.

Spurs and England were dealt a double injury blow this week with the news that winger Andros Townsend will miss the World Cup after suffering an ankle problem which will sideline him for 10 weeks.

Kyle Walker, a regular for the Three Lions during qualifying, is also a doubt for Roy Hodgson's squad for the tournament in Brazil, with his hip concern likely to keep him out for at least another month.

Erik Lamela and Moussa Dembele are also out of the visit to the Boleyn Ground, while Jan Vertonghen and Etienne Capoue featured for Tottenham's Under-21s in midweek, but may not make the starting XI.

Thus, Sherwood could stick with the same lineup that edged out Stoke City, with Harry Kane partnering Emmanuel Adebayor up front, and Michael Dawson preferred to Vlad Chiriches at centre-back.

West Ham have already beaten Spurs twice this season, with both victories coming at White Hart Lane - a resounding 3-0 Premier League win and a 2-1 Capital One Cup quarter-final success.

Recent form

West Ham: LLLLWW


Possible starting lineups

West Ham: Adrian; Demel, Collins, Reid; Armero; Noble, Nocerino, Nolan; Jarvis, Downing; Carroll

Spurs: Lloris; Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Rose; Lennon, Paulinho, Chadli, Eriksen; Adebayor, Kane

Sports Mole says: 1-1

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Hugo Rodallega of Fulham (R) celebrates with Pajtim Kasami as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match against Norwich on April 12, 2014
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