Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for West Ham v Tottenham
BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson believes West Ham will earn a point against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday afternoon
Mark Lawrenson is backing West Ham United to deny Jose Mourinho a winning start to his Tottenham Hotspur reign at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Portuguese manager was appointed as Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement at the Champions League runners up on Wednesday morning as Mourinho returned to management.
Mourinho will take charge of Tottenham in his first Premier League game since his Manchester United side lost 3-1 to Liverpool FC at Anfield last December.
The former Chelsea FC boss inherits a Tottenham side that is winless in their last five Premier League games and has only won six of their last 24 outings.
Tottenham are in 14th position and 11 points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City in the race to secure a spot in next season’s Champions League.
West Ham are a point behind Spurs and Manuel Pellegrini’s side are winless in their last six Premier League fixtures to leave the London side hovering about the relegation zone.
Former Liverpool FC defender Lawrenson is backing West Ham to secure a point against Tottenham at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
“I think appointing Mourinho as manager is a gamble for Tottenham, I really seriously do.” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.
“They have replaced a very popular manager with someone who, after his time at Manchester United, we are not quite sure if we have seen the best of him already.
“Will it affect the way Tottenham play? Well, they probably won’t be as expansive as they were under Mauricio Pochettino.
“But, whatever happens long term, on Saturday Mourinho will give them a lift straight away – he is a different voice, and gives them a fresh approach.
“It is going to be interesting to see the way Spurs play, and I don’t mean just in terms of their performance against West Ham. I mean in the subtle changes that he might make, if any, to their shape and their playing style.”
Tottenham finished in the top four in the last four seasons under Pochettino, something which hadn’t been achieved by any other Spurs manager in the Premier League era.