EPL Preview: West Ham v Spurs: Game Loses Meaning After Attempted Murder of Star

Willie Gannon@https://twitter.com/WillieGannonSenior Writer IAugust 22, 2009

LONDON - AUGUST 09:  Calum Davenport of West Ham in action during The Bobby Moore Cup pre season friendly match between West Ham United and Villarreal at Upton Park on August 9, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)

The upcoming Premiership clash between West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur has been cast under a cloud after it emerged that late last night, Hammers defender Callum Davenport, was attacked in his home and left in a serious state after he was stabbed repeatedly in his legs.

Davenport, 26, and his mother are both in a serious but stable condition after being stabbed at their home in Bedford on Friday night.

The defender joined West Ham from Tottenham for £3m in 2007 and he is well known to both sets of players as they prepare for Sunday's match.

He had a spell on loan for Sunderland last season and also played for Coventry City.

A West Ham spokesman said: "The club's medical team are in contact with hospital staff.

"The thoughts of everyone at West Ham are with Calum and his family and, due to the on-going investigation, no further information will be released."

On the eve of the match Davenport underwent what is believed to be a major operation on his legs and medical staff now say that he is in a serious but stable condition.

In their on-going investigation, Police arrested two men in Derby on Saturday afternoon, both men will remain in custody on suspicion of "attempted murder" while they help Police with their investigation.

For the two teams, picking themselves up for this game will be no easy matter.

West Ham go into this match with having not played since last weekend, unlike Spurs who hammered Hull 5-1 at the KC on Wednesday night.

Gianfranco Zola enjoyed a good first season with the Hammers, who played some very attractive football with a whole host of graduates from their famed Academy.

There should only be one change to the team that beat Wolves last week as left full Herita Illunga misses out with a jaw injury that he picked up in training mid week.

James Collins is expected to be named in the match squad despite West Ham and Stoke having agreed upon a £5m move during the week, only for the player to pull the plug on the transfer after he could not agree personal terms.

The cancellation had further ramifications for West Ham as it meant that Gianfranco Zola had to pull out of the proposed transfer of Marouane Chamakh from Bourdeaux as the club did not have the funds to meet the £7m asking price.

The minute Italian is also coming under pressure from their Icelandic owners who are believed to be demanding that key players be sold so that they can re-coup £10m of the monies they are owed from the purchasing deal for the club.

Harry Redknapp goes back to his old stomping ground knowing that he will get a hostile reception, as will Jermaine Defoe.

Spurs are riding high in the league after they won their opening two fixtures for the first time in 14 years. The team is full of confidence after they well beat a poor Liverpool team at White Hart Lane on the opening weekend and then followed that up with a Jermaine Defoe inspired demolition of Hull midweek.

Heurelho Gomes will definitely miss out after he pulled a groin muscle in the midweek demolition resulting with David Button being recalled from his loan move to Crewe so that he can be understudy to Carlo Cudicini.

In defence, Ledley King's knees should be well rested and he should resume his partnership with Sebastian Bassong in the centre.

Spurs have played some fantastic football in their two games this season, and should they win, it would be the first time since the '80s to do so.

With Jermaine Defoe in such imperious form, a victory for Spurs can not be ruled out, the striker has scored five goals for club and country in his last three games. His surprising partnership with Robbie Keane has been the base for all that has been good about Spurs.

Most pundits expected the Spurs forward line to be comprised of new signing Peter Crouch and his old team mate Defoe. But Harry threw a major curve ball to all, including opposing managers, by going with the partnership that previous managers, Martin Jol and Juande Ramos had declared impossible to work.

In Keane, Redknapp has recognised that he has a forward who is unafraid to put the team ahead of his own goals. And with the Irishman dropping back into midfield, Spurs can change their set up to suit the occasion.

Betting odds for the match see Spurs as slight favourites, but as every football fan can tell you, once you expect something of Spurs, they lose.

Spurs are going well at the moment and confidence is high, and if things aren't going as planned they have the ability to change things around with a great bench. The favourites tag for tomorrow is deserved on what we've seen so far, but with Spurs you never can tell.

The thought of both squads will be with Callum as he recuperates, as will the 40,000 strong who will pack into Upton Park to cheer their heroes on.


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