West Ham v Tottenham: Back a winning start for Mourinho
Jose Mourinho is back and Dave Tindall is here to preview the Premier League London derby between these two on Saturday lunchtime...
West Ham v Tottenham Saturday, 12:30 BT Sport 1
Pellegrini under pressure
It's a pretty tight heat, the Premier League's Next Manager to Leave market, but West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is considered one of the main runners at just 3.20.
He finds himself in this position after a promising start to the campaign has gone badly wrong since the 2-0 home win over Manchester United.
A 4-0 League Cup defeat to Oxford started the rot and the Hammers have followed it by taking just two points from their last six top-flight matches.
Pellegrini is never one to panic, insisting he's seen all the peaks and troughs before. But while that calmness is admirable in one sense, in another his unflappable nature can be viewed as not being as concerned about the slump as passionate fans want him to be.
They follow this game with trips to Chelsea and Wolves before another home London derby against Arsenal.
And, as if all that wasn't enough, they now run into a Tottenham side desperate to try and impress a new high-profile manager...
Can Mourinho made an immediate mark?
Daniel Levy's decision to axe Mauricio Pochettino went down like a lead balloon in large chunks of the Tottenham fanbase.
And replacing the popular Argentine with the divisive Jose Mourinho made it, for many, a head-shaking double whammy.
What unfolds in the long or medium term remains to be seen but there's certainly a scenario that the shake-up at the top produces immediate short-term gains.
But is that really credible? And do punters base their judgement on the dashing Jose who made hay with Chelsea or the sulky, hotel-dwelling Manchester United Mourinho, who appeared to be falling out of love with the game?
The narrative suggests he was a failure at Old Trafford but let's not forget he won two trophies in his first season.
Perhaps more relevant to this game is that he also guided United to four straight wins in his opening four matches.
Like him or not, he's a proven winner and, for a while at least, that could rub off on a dressing room that has a notable lack of them.
Spurs odds-on in Jose's opener
West Ham start the weekend in 16th place and only the bottom two have lost more home games.
They're 4.50 to bank a much-needed victory while The Draw is 4.40.
Those thinking that West Ham's wobbles combined with some instant Mourinho bounce adds up to a great bet may be slightly disappointed. There are no carrots being dangled here and Tottenham are just 1.79 to get the win.
Much is made of Tottenham's poor record on their travels but in their last two road games they were a last-gasp Everton equaliser away from winning at Goodison before trouncing Red Star 4-0 in Belgrade.
Perhaps a corner was already being turned before Poch went out and Mourinho came in.
Cash in on handicap
West Ham have conceded six goals in their last two Premier League games and were 3-0 down down at home to lowly Newcastle before restoring a modicum of late pride and losing 3-2.
There are holes that Spurs can exploit and I think enough pointers exist to suggest that the visitors are worth a punt to win this comfortably.
Head to the handicap markets and back Tottenham -1 at 3.00.
Tottenham have won their last three trips to the London Stadium and can stretch that to four in convincing fashion.
Overs big favourite
West Ham's leaky defence and the obvious firepower out on the pitch certainly suggests goals could be on the menu but is 1.62 for Over 2.5 giving that idea too much credence?
There's an alternative scenario where Mourinho puts his early focus on sorting the Spurs defence, masterminds them to a clean sheet while bagging two at the other end.
Under 2.5 goals at 2.56 is slightly tempting I have to say.
It's a similar balance in the Both teams to Score market and, again, I'd rather go with 'No' at 2.54.
Count on Kane
Until we get an impression of who Jose likes and who doesn't float his boat, playing the less obvious goalscorer options isn't too clever.
All we know for sure is that he's without Erik Lamela, who has a hamstring problem.
But it's a no-brainer that Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min will get the nod and both are in form.
Kane netted four goals in England's two Euro 2020 qualifiers while Son has bagged three in his last two Spurs games.
Son is tempting but big players often step up to the plate for Mourinho and I'll push the boat a little by backing Kane to score two goals or more at 5.10.
He has a brilliant record in derby games and would have landed this bet two seasons ago when scoring a first-half brace in Tottenham's 3-2 win at the London Stadium.
Only against Liverpool (5) has West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini lost more Premier League games than he has against Spurs (3).