Tactically Speaking

The Official Website takes an in-depth look at Winston Reid's important role in the West Ham United defence, while also focusing on how Tottenham Hotspur could line up on Saturday.

West Ham United

Winston Reid

Reid all about it

Ahead of the important London derby with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, WhoScored.com have taken the opportunity to highlight the West Ham United player who could be key for the trip to White Hart Lane.

Winston Reid has become a pivotal member of the Hammers' starting XI since his arrival from FC Midtjylland in 2010, with the New Zealand international making 42 Barclays Premier League appearances since their promotion to England's top tier in May 2012. In his six league starts this season, Reid has secured an average WhoScored.com rating of 7.21; only defensive teammate James Collins (7.25) has scored higher of every West Ham player with at least two appearances.

In a defence that has conceded just five goals in the league - only four teams have shipped fewer after six games - it is little surprise to see Reid secure such a notable rating. The 25-year-old has become a mainstay in the Hammers starting XI this term and has churned out noteworthy performances alongside both Collins and James Tomkins at centre-back.

Averaging 9.2 clearances per game - only Collins (10) has more - the player does his utmost to ensure that Jussi Jaaskelainen is tested as rarely as possible. Reid's defensive work has also ensured that West Ham are yet to concede a goal from open play away from the Boleyn Ground this season, accentuating just how solid Sam Allardyce's men are set up to be.

Averaging an impressive 1.7 interceptions per Barclays Premier League encounter this term, a number that is bettered by only a handful of centre-backs, further highlights his reading of the game. This will be important in disrupting the fluidity of Spurs' attacks, especially when up against Christian Eriksen, with the Dane's passing ability crucial to the Lillywhites in the final third of the pitch.

Against a Spurs side that has a conversion rate from attempts in open play of just 6.7 per cent at White Hart Lane this season, there is a distinct possibility that West Ham can continue their impressive defensive record on the road which has seen them concede just one goal, and that strike came from the penalty spot.

With there having been two or fewer goals scored in all six of Spurs' league games this season, the Hammers will look to capitalise on this statistic, safe in the knowledge that a positive result is attainable if they can frustrate the north London outfit.

Reid has impressed when called upon this season and will be key to West Ham when they make the short trip across the capital this weekend. His experience at centre-back will be of vital importance in Allardyce's team at White Hart Lane and whether he plays alongside Collins or Tomkins in defence, Reid will provide the necessary solidity in the backline for the Hammers.

* WhoScored.com is a website and one of the fastest growing in the sports industry, specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Follow @WhoScored on Twitter.

Tottenham Hotspur

Probable starting XI


Walker  Dawson  Vertonghen  Rose

Paulinho  Dembele

Townsend  Eriksen  Sigurdsson


Tottenham Hotspur's summer transfer dealings were dominated by the world-record sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.

However, while the media concentrated on Bale's departure, Spurs manager Andre Villas Boas welcomed no fewer than seven new first-team players through the White Hart Lane gates, spending more than £100m in the process.

All seven have featured, with Denmark playmaker Christian Eriksen and Spain striker Roberto Soldado already establishing themselves as important figures in the Lillywhites' attack.

With Emmanuel Adebayor out of favour and former West Ham United star Jermain Defoe starting games from the bench so far this season, Soldado has taken over the role as sole striker in a balanced 4-2-3-1 formation.

The Spaniard is a fine all-round forward capable of both holding up play and using his speed to make angled runs in behind. He is also a clinical finisher inside the opposition penalty area.

Behind him, former Ajax man Eriksen is an energetic central attacking midfielder blessed with outstanding vision and passing ability. He is also a hard worker in and out of possession, making himself available to receive the ball and breaking up play to win it back.

Either side of Eriksen, Spurs have had to fill the gaps left by the departed Bale and injured Aaron Lennon.

On the left, Gylfi Sigurdsson is in the form of his life. The Iceland international does not possess the speed or dribbling ability of Bale, but is a major goalscoring threat due to his movement and awareness.

On the right, Villas Boas has preferred homegrown Andros Townsend to summer signing Nacer Chadli in recent league games. A direct, pacey runner, Townsend literally loves cutting inside on his stronger left foot and getting shots away.

The defensive midfield shield is provided by new boy Brazilian Paulinho and Belgium international Moussa Dembele.

Paulinho will play on the right of the two. A strong, athletic player, Paulinho is also capable of contributing to the attack with penetrative passes out from deep areas.

To his left, Dembele is more likely to run with the ball, drifting past opponents. Another strong player,the Belgian also possesses a strong shot with his left foot, while his pass-completion percentage of 91.8 is the highest of any Spurs player.

At the back, Spurs have pace to burn in the full-back areas in the shape of Kyle Walker and Danny Rose.

Right-back Walker is an England international who is direct, strong and powerful. An attack-minded player, Walker will often overlap his winger. He has attempted more passes, 394, than any other Tottenham player this season.

At left-back, Rose could return after missing last weekend's draw with Chelsea with a toe injury. He is young, quick and strong with a low centre of gravity. Should he be unavailable, the speedy right-footer Kyle Naughton could deputise.

While Spurs' full-backs are quick and attack-minded, this could open up opportunities for West Ham's wide players to get in and expose the space behind them, particularly when the Hammers turn the ball over or counter-attack.

Belgium international Jan Vertonghen is likely to place as the left centre-back. Vertonghen is a competitive, left-sided defender who is also comfortable in possession and a threat from attacking set plays.

Alongside him, Michael Dawson is a powerful centre-back who can dominate in the air at both ends of the pitch and distribute with his right foot on the ground, often with long diagonal balls towards the left channel.

While both Spurs centre-backs are strong players, they can be susceptible to pace or opposition players running directly at them with the ball, giving encouragement to the likes of West Ham's Ravel Morrison.

In goal, Lloris is an athletic, brave goalkeeper who is not afraid to dominate his penalty area, despite his relatively small stature for a goalkeeper. Like many continental stoppers, he is also a fine distributor of the ball.

Should Villas Boas choose to mix things up at the back, he could hand a start to Romania centre-back Vlad Chiriches - an £8m summer signing from Steaua Bucharest - or the fit-again France international Younes Kaboul.

Further forward, Defoe is a shoot-first livewire well-known to West Ham fans, while Germany attacking midfielder Lewis Holtby is an energetic player who can create and score goals with his left foot and tall Moroccan Chadli is an enigmatic winger.

Playing style-wise, Tottenham like to play out from the back and are a compact and cohesive unit capable of opening up their opponents through the middle and down the flanks.