Spurs hold West Ham in the grip of history

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The Independent Football

Despite having conceded four goals to Chelsea and then five against Arsenal, Tottenham should in theory be less concerned about their latest London derby this afternoon. West Ham have failed to score at White Hart Lane in five successive visits dating back to 2005 and have not won there since 1999.

They nevertheless arrive two points ahead of Spurs, who have now lost three successive League games. Andre Villas-Boas will also be aware that Harry Redknapp's return to the Premier League could soon lead to unfavourable comparisions being made between the pair.

Against Lazio on Thursday, Villas-Boas's team held on for a goalless draw thanks to a fine display by the French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who seems finally to have confirmed his place as No 1 ahead of the veteran Brad Friedel.

That was the first clean sheet that Tottenham have kept in nine games and the England defender Steven Caulker admits that a win is now overdue. "It's important for us to get our form back in the League and there's no denying it's a massive game for us," he said.

"We're confident we can get three points and put the season back on an upwards spiral. We made a good start, then hit a bit of a dip in form but we're working hard every day to put it right. When I was 18, I was in the squad and travelled away to West Ham and it was a massive occasion and I expect this will be the same."

There will be a contrast in the two attacks with Caulker up against Andy Carroll while Tottenham, with Emmanuel Adebayor suspended, will play along the ground to rely on Jermain Defoe.

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United is today at 4pm