SPURS PREVIEW: Zola's hammers stand in way of Premiership progress

NORTH meets East when Tottenham travel across London to take on Gianfranco Zola s West Ham at Upton Park on Monday night. The Hammers have had a torrid time this season and find themselves in 13th place with five wins and a trio of draws to show from 15 l

NORTH meets East when Tottenham travel across London to take on Gianfranco Zola's West Ham at Upton Park on Monday night.

The Hammers have had a torrid time this season and find themselves in 13th place with five wins and a trio of draws to show from 15 league games.

Yet the East Enders remain three points ahead of the Lilywhites, who have suddenly hit the skids with losses in two of their last three league games.

The similarities between the Hammers and their visitors are not restricted to their league position as both teams replaced their managers in the autumn - initially with varying results.


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Gianfranco Zola, the former Italian international and Chelsea star, became the Hammers' third manager in three years when he replaced Alan Curbishley, who had himself only taken over from Alan Pardew in 2006.

With just three wins in 12 games since September, Zola took time to get the Hammers back on track, but Monday's goalless draw with league leaders Liverpool has given the claret and blues a pre-Christmas boost.

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That result followed hard on the heels of the 0-0 draw with Portsmouth and 1-0 victory over Sunderland thanks to a 20th minute goal from Valon Behrami.

Keeper Robert Green has impressed this season and can be expected to play on Monday, while Carlton Cole has made an impact this season and has netted three times.

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