Soccer tips: Tottenham vs West Ham - Back Spurs to shade entertaining cup clash

Bitter London rivals Tottenham and West Ham prepare to battle it out for a spot in the Carabao Cup semi-finals - and it looks like it could be the end of the road for the Hammers.

Tottenham host West Ham on Wednesday in what might well be the most interesting of the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Both teams are right in the picture for a top-four finish, but with a place in the League Cup last four up for grabs, neither are likely to be taking this one lightly.

West Ham have already dismissed Manchester United and Manchester City from the competition, and whoever wins this tie will strongly fancy their chances of going all the way and winning English soccer's first silverware of the season.

When, where, and how to watch

When: Wednesday, December 22, 19.45 GMT

Where: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

How to watch: Sky Sports

Best bets for Tottenham vs West Ham

Spurs to win in 90 minutes and both teams to score at 4/1 (boosted from 7/2)

Half time draw, full time Tottenham at 4/1

Tomas Soucek to score first West Ham goal at 11/2

The League Cup is the only one of English soccer's big three competitions that Antonio Conte failed to win when he was at Chelsea.

However, it was not for a lack of trying. He took the League Cup seriously when Blues boss and got as far as the semi-finals in 2018 before being knocked out by Arsenal.

The Italian has certainly had a positive impact at Tottenham since being appointed in November, although I'm not sure you'd say they are especially flying right now.

West Ham head into the game two points ahead of their bitter London rivals in the Premier League table, although Spurs have played two games fewer.

Antonio Conte animated on the Tottenham touchline

The Hammers have been incredibly impressive this season although a run of one win in their last six Premier league games has halted the momentum.

They have proven to be robust before, though, and have often found another level when playing against the top sides this season.

It feels like it's going to be a highly competitive game, probably with plenty of goals scored, but Tottenham are the team in form and look most likely to shade it.

Carabao Cup runs

Tottenham have only faced Premier League opposition thus far in the Carabao Cup and this will be their first home tie.

They needed penalties to get past Wolves back in September before shading a close clash against Burnley at Turf Moor.

Wolves 2-2 Tottenham (Spurs won 3-2 on pens)

Burnley 0-1 Tottenham

West Ham have similarly just played twice in the competition but no one could accuse them of not earning their spot in the last eight.

They headed to Old Trafford first up and beat Manchester United before returning north to dump holders Manchester City out of the competition on penalties.

Man Utd 0-1 West Ham

Man City 0-0 West Ham (West Ham won 5-3 on pens)

Tottenham finding their groove

Spurs looked completely devoid of direction and identity at the start of the season. A shambolic manager search left them with Nuno Espirito Santo - a man who never looked like a good fit for the club.

He predictability didn't last long, forcing Tottenham to push the boat out and get Antonio Conte, which they probably should have done in the first place.

The Italian has led Spurs in six games since with the only defeat coming in the Europa Conference League.

In the Premier League, Conte has won three and earned two credible draws against the two Merseyside clubs, and there were even signs that Harry Kane may be getting back to something recognisable during the breathless clash with Liverpool last week.

Harry Kane Tottenham Dec18

The signs are certainly looking positive for Tottenham right now. It feels inevitable that Conte will improve them significantly.

Right now they look more like they are muddling through rather than pushing forward, but they should have just enough to win this one if they keep up their recent levels.

Hammers love a challenge

West Ham's form of late has dropped a touch, but if they have shown anything this season it's that they love playing against the traditional top teams.

David Moyes' men have beaten Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea this season.

The latest of those, a 3-2 home win over Chelsea, came in the middle of their current poor run, so they are clearly capable of picking themselves up for the big occasions.

Jarrod Bowen, West Ham, England

One big weapon West Ham may have in this one is set pieces - they are arguably the best team in the Premier League from dead-ball situations.

However, Moyes has some defensive worries with Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna missing and Vladimir Coufal suspended.

West Ham have proven more than a match for the big guns this season, but with key defenders missing they may struggle to contain Tottenham in this one.

Goalscorer bets for Tottenham vs West Ham 

Harry Kane scored his first home goal of the season against Liverpool and Spurs will be hoping that's the start of a goalscoring run for the England captain.

Kane is 9/5 to be Tottenham's first goalscorer, just ahead of Heung-min Son at 3/1.

Conte seems determined to persist with his mission to rejuvenate Dele Alli too, so consider him at 5/1.

West Ham will likely pose an enormous threat from set-pieces, and that always lends itself to some decent outside bets.

Tomas Soucek is always a threat and is 11/2 to score the first West Ham goal, while Craig Dawson can be backed at 12/1.

READ MORE: Which Premier League clubs will be most affected by the AFCON and which FOUR will escape unscathed

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