West Ham vs TottenhamEnglish Premier League, KO: 12:30 Nov 23, 2019, London Stadium
The self proclaimed “Special One” will return to the dugout this weekend when Jose Mourinho's Tottenham lock horns with West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.
Mourinho made a sensational return to management in midweek following a whirlwind 24 hours that saw Spurs sack Mauricio Pochetiino and swiftly appoint the Portuguese serial winner who will now lead the Lilywhites into this mouth-watering London derby.
Spurs are currently languishing in 14th place in the Premier League table, however, last seasons Champions League runners-up have lost just one of their last six matches in all competitions – a 2-1 defeat away at champions-elect Liverpool.
One of Mourinho's first targets will be to cure Tottenham's travel sickness – the capital club are without a league win on the road since January – and the new Spurs boss will be presented with the opportunity to register an overdue road trip success on Saturday against an out-of-sorts West Ham side.
The east London outfit made an encouraging start to their campaign by collecting 11 points from the opening 18 on offer to them, however, Manuel Pelligrini's men have only managed to pick up a solitary point from their last five league outings – a wretched run of form that now sees the Hammers precariously hovering above the relegation zone.
The Irons latest setback came before the international break when they were humbled 3-0 away at Burnley – a result which increased the mounting pressure on West Ham boss Manuel Pelligrini.
The bookmakers believe that West Ham could be set for more misery this weekend with a home win big odds-against at 3/1 (Bet 365) and a share of the spoils is also priced at 3/1 (Bet 365) with the same firm.
Jose Mourinho won each of his opening Premier League games during his stints at Chelsea and Manchester United respectively and the bookies fancy the Mourinho era to get off to a flyer by pricing Spurs at 5/6 (BoyleSports)
The new Spurs boss has already stressed the importance of retaining the services of Harry Kane and doing so could hold the key to Mourinho being the man to bring the north London clubs 11 year trophy drought to an end.
In Kane, Mourinho possesses one of the most potent forwards on the planet and after firing in four goals across England's final two Euro 2020 qualifiers the Spurs striker has now racked up 20 goals in 21 appearances for club and country since the start of the season.
Six of that aforementioned tally have been chalked up in 11 league appearances and I fancy Kane's red-hot form to continue on Saturday when he comes up against a ropey West Ham rearguard.
The Hammers are hemorrhaging goals – they have shipped 17 goals in their last seven outings in all competitions – and that does not bode well for a backline who are set to come up against Kane and Co.
Kane will attract plenty of punters to score first at 3/1 (SportNation) however, Spurs themselves have been shaky at the back this season and with that in mind, it may be more shrewd to opt for the Tottenham talisman to score anytime at a tempting 19/20 (SportNation)
Spurs have only managed to keep one clean-sheet in 12 top-flight tussles so far and that coupled with West Ham's wobbly defence perhaps explains why backing both teams to score is a short as 1/2 (Ladbrokes)
Mourinho will almost certainly tighten up Tottenham's defence as the season progresses but in the short term the Portuguese will do his utmost to formulate a plan to thwart West Ham striker Sebastian Haller from spoiling his Spurs debut.
West Ham paid a club-record £45m for Haller in the Summer, however, the Frenchman has only managed to hit the back of the net four times in 11 Premier League appearances to date.
Although Haller has cut a very frustrated and isolated figure in recent weeks, I can't help but be attracted to the 4/5 (PaddyPower) on offer for the Hammers hitman to have a least one shot on target here – Haller has hit the target 13 times in his 11 appearances thus far.
However, at the other end of the park, West Ham's deputy goalkeeper Roberto could be in for a busy afternoon following a series of high-profile blunders that have coincided with the Hammers season falling off a cliff.
Given West Ham's woes, coupled with Spurs superior quality, I suspect Mourinho could make a winning start to life in the Spurs dugout and steer his new side to a long-overdue away day success.
Indeed, the home team will be fired up for what tends to be a fiery fixture and closely-fought battle could well unfold, however, I'm going to back Mourinho to generate the famed new manager bounce by backing Spurs to march to victory at 5/6 (BoyleSports)
This English Premier League match between West Ham and Tottenham will be played on Nov 23, 2019 and kick off at 12:30