Jussi Jaaskelainen is relishing the opportunity to take on the Barclays Premier League's most prolific player on Monday night.

Tottenham Hotspur's Wales winger Gareth Bale has scored 21 goals in 36 appearances for club and country so far this season - including seven in his previous five matches.

The lightning-quick left-footer has netted all types of goals this term, including three unstoppable free-kicks in recent victories over Newcastle United and French side Olympique Lyonnais.

Rather than be intimidated, however, West Ham United goalkeeper Jaaskelainen is looking forward to pitting his wits against Bale, who scored in Spurs' 3-1 league win at White Hart Lane in November.

"The ideal situation is that we don't give those silly free-kicks away around the box - that's how you stop him because if you don't give him free-kicks he can't do it again!" said the No22.

"He has obviously done lots of practice on the free-kicks and the only thing a 'keeper can do is see the ball all the way and hope it doesn't go in right next to the post and he has a chance to save the ball.

"He seems to have found a new technique and a new way to take his free-kicks."

Jaaskelainen was beaten by a Charles N'Zogbia free-kick at Aston Villa last time out, but it was the first time a direct set piece had ended up in the Finn's net all season.

Modern-day footballs seem to have a mind of their own, but the West Ham stopper refuses to blame the ball for the succession of free-kicks that have been scored in the Barclays Premier League this term.

"Over the past ten years or so, they seem to try to make a quicker football in the Premier League, and you can obviously see that more goals like that seemed to be scored every year.

"That's a big part of how the ball has been designed, but I still think it is a great ball and good to play football with, and of course goals are what the fans want to see!

"I am not too worried about it or complaining. You have to try to keep them out. That's the name of the game and hopefully we can do that on Monday."

Beating Andre Villas-Boas' side will be easier said than done, however, as Tottenham are unbeaten in ten Barclays Premier League matches dating back to a 2-1 defeat at Everton on 9 December.

Regardless of that enviable record, Jaaskelainen is looking forward to what promises to be a memorable night under the lights at the Boleyn Ground, with the club marking the 20th anniversary of the death of Hammers and England legend Bobby Moore OBE.

"Tottenham seem to have been going extremely well for the past two or three months but our home form, with our fans behind us, has been good. We just need to keep performing the way we have been at home and I think we'll give them a good game."

*A limited number of tickets are still available for Monday's Barclays Premier League fixture with Tottenham Hotspur. To secure your seat now, click on the link below.

Tottenham Hotspur tickets