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Can Tottenham Hotspur shake off inconsistent tag in the Premier League?

Antonio Conte only arrived at Tottenham in November but already the Italian coach has experienced plenty of highs and lows in north London.

Original article published 5 September 2022

Spurs's inconsistency has frustrated their manager and fans alike and Conte will be desperate for a professional performance from his players when they host London rivals West Ham at 16:30.

All too often this season, Tottenham have followed up an impressive victory with a dismal defeat but, after Wednesday's regulation 2-0 win at Brighton, they are 4/6 to see off the Hammers at home on Sunday.

Punters weighing up a bet on Spurs have several reasons to be cautious, though, not least their record against the rest of the Premier League's top eight.

Bizarrely, they have managed to complete a league double over champions Manchester City and draw 2-2 with title contenders Liverpool but they have lost seven of their eight games against Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, West Ham and Wolves.

Another important trend to consider is that Tottenham's last seven wins in all competitions were all followed by a defeat.

Their recent form has been a real rollercoaster ride, beating City 3-2 in Manchester then losing at lowly Burnley, thrashing Leeds 4-0 at Elland Road before an FA Cup exit at second-tier Middlesbrough, and following up a 5-0 home rout of Everton with a 3-2 loss at Manchester United.

Goals not a problem

One area in which Conte's Spurs can be trusted is goalscoring as January signing Dejan Kulusevski has impressed in a new-look front three alongside star forwards Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son.

Tottenham have scored two or more goals in eight of their last 10 home Premier League matches and they are 4/6 to bag over 1.5 goals against West Ham and 9/4 to score over 2.5.

Kane, perhaps suffering a hangover from England's run to the final of Euro 2020, made a slow start to the campaign under Nuno Espirito Santo, scoring only two league goals before Christmas.

He has looked revitalised recently, however, finding the net seven times in his last six league games, including a memorable brace in the win at Manchester City. The striker is 5/2 to be first goalscorer against West Ham and 11/4 to score two or more goals.

Tottenham have the attacking talent to challenge for a top-four finish but they need their defence to provide a more stable foundation.

There have been signs of improvement at the back as Cristian Romero, Eric Dier and Ben Davies have started as a three in each of the last seven Premier League fixtures, keeping clean sheets in three of the last four.

Romero, who scored the opener at Brighton on Wednesday, arrived from Atalanta with a glowing reputation after being named Serie A's best defender last season but his debut campaign in England has been disrupted by injury.

If the Argentina international stays fit then he could help Tottenham find the consistency that has eluded them for much of the season and a victory over West Ham on Sunday would give them back-to-back league wins for the first time since Boxing Day.

Quick turnaround for Europa League heroes

West Ham have a good recent record against Tottenham in the Premier League, winning their last two home clashes with Spurs and coming from 3-0 down to claim a thrilling 3-3 draw in north London last season.

The Hammers kept alive their Europa League dream by knocking out six-time winners Sevilla on Thursday but they needed extra-time to seal a 2-1 aggregate win and there could be some weary legs in the camp.

Striker Michail Antonio played 120 minutes, having been a doubt for the Sevilla game, and David Moyes is missing the injured Jarrod Bowen, Angelo Ogbonna and Vladimir Coufal.

The Hammers are 4/1 to complete a league double over Spurs, while punters who expect fatigue to be a factor for the visitors may be tempted by the draw-Tottenham double result at 15/4.

Bees buzzing after Eriksen return

Sunday's other Premier League match sees Brentford travel to Leicester at 14:00 bidding for a third consecutive win after beating Norwich 3-1 and Burnley 2-0 in their last two outings.

The Bees' resurgence has coincided with the return to action of Christian Eriksen, nine months after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020.

Eriksen's class is already making a difference to the Bees, who had lost nine of their previous 11 games before he made his first start at Carrow Road, and striker Ivan Toney is profiting from the playmaker's arrival.

Toney has scored all five of Brentford's goals in their last two matches and is 11/10 to add to his tally at Leicester.

Foxes hoping to fire despite Vardy absence

Like West Ham, Leicester were in European action on Thursday night, clinching a tense 3-2 aggregate victory over Rennes in Brittany to advance to the quarter-finals of the inaugural Europa Conference League.

The Foxes have had a tricky campaign after winning the FA Cup and finishing fifth in the Premier League last season as they have been hampered by injuries to several key players.

While Sunday's opponents Brentford have star striker Toney firing, Leicester will once again be without their main man Jamie Vardy.

The club legend scored on his first appearance of 2022, a 2-0 win at Burnley at the start of March, but is injured again.

Shutouts have been a rarity for Leicester all season but they have won three of their last five matches to nil - against Burnley, Leeds and Rennes in the first leg of their Conference League tie - and centre-back Wesley Fofana has made a welcome return from a broken leg. A Foxes win to nil again on Sunday is available at 3/1.

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