3 Key Battles That Could Decide Thursday's Meeting Between Tottenham and West Ham

Tottenham Hotspur entertain West Ham on Thursday night, with both teams forced to play their second match in 48 hours.

The hosts come into the fixture in good form, and eased to a 2-0 win over Swansea on Tuesday night at a rain swept Liberty Stadium.

David Moyes' side have also improved recently, and will feel they should have taken home more points from the festive period then they have.

This London derby is always a special watch for fans, so let's analyse three key battles that could decide the outcome of this one...

3. Marko Arnautovic vs Eric Dier

West Ham have uncovered the genius that is Marko Arnautovic's feet in the last month.

The Austrian struggled to settle in at the London Stadium initially, having made a £20m move from Stoke in the summer. The appointment of David Moyes has reignited his spark though, and playing in a more central role, Arnautovic has scored five times in December.

The creative midfielder has the physical attributes to stretch Spurs, and is likely to be marshalled carefully by holding midfielder Eric Dier. The England international is a calming influence in Spurs' side and will look to neutralise the threat posed by West Ham's star.

2. Mark Noble vs Christian Eriksen

Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen is the heartbeat of Tottenham's midfield, pulling the strings in a quiet and unassuming manner.

He is enjoying another successful campaign thus far, having scored five times and claimed seven assists so far this season. He is still someway short of achieving the numbers he hit last season though, and supporters will be looking to Eriksen to take his game to the next level as Spurs look to push on beyond; eyeing the fourth Champions League qualifying spot.

West Ham skipper Mark Noble is likely to come into the starting lineup, and will be watchful of Spurs' most creative force.

1. Angelo Ogbonna vs Harry Kane

Tottenham's leading marksman Harry Kane is likely to be recalled for this one, leaving West Ham manager David Moyes with a real headache of how to try and stop the prolific goalscorer.

Kane netted 39 Premier League goals in 2017, and amassed the highest number of strikes in Europe's top five leagues with 56 in all competitions. His form recently has been frightening, with hat-tricks notched against Burnley and Southampton in successive games.

Angelo Ogbonna is likely to form part of a three-man central defence for the Hammers, and will look to use his international experience with Italy to keep Spurs' talisman quiet.