West Ham’s James Ward-Prowse says that a solid defence will be key to beating Tottenham tonight.

Scoring a winner against Tottenham is always a way to get yourself into West Ham fan’s good books. The bitter rivalry is always full of drama and this season’s game in North London was no different.

Despite an awful first-half from West Ham, their sturdy defence and critical finishing allowed them to beat their London rivals, and James Ward-Prowse is hopeful that his side will be able to enjoy another memorable match under the lights.

“It’s going to be a difficult challenge for sure, and I’m sure they’ll be looking to get one over on us after the reverse game,” Ward-Prowse confessed when speaking to WHUFC.com. “They’ve transformed this season into an attacking, possession-orientated team, but we’ll try and stay focused on our strengths.

“In the previous game against them, they had a lot of the ball, but we defended really well and then took our chances when they came, which is what we’ll be looking to do again this time out.”

“I think our defensive work gave us the platform to go on and win that game, though we rode our luck a bit at times as well. My goal came from the ball hitting the post and then finding me, but I’ll take those chances all day long and that game will long in my memory. Hopefully we can have similar success on Tuesday.”

Obviously London derbies are always special nights, but when the midfielder scored the winner at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, he didn’t understand just how much it meant to the East London faithful.

“I’d not been at the Club that long before the last Tottenham match, and I hadn’t realised just how much it meant to the fans,” added Ward-Prowse, who has so-far scored five goals in 41 outings in Claret and Blue.”

“Of course I’d played in derbies before [for Southampton against Portsmouth] and there’s always extra hype around those games, but I think we have to try and put emotion to one side and concentrate on the football, and getting all three points.”

“Saturday at Newcastle was disappointing, but the last chunk of the season is really exciting. We’ve still got a great opportunity to finish well in the league and in Europe, so we need to stay positive and do everything we can to do that.”

Everyone knows that West Ham have been poor in 2024 but, somehow, they’ve managed to stay in the European places. At this stage though, things must improve fast – what better statement of intent than putting in a strong performance and beating your rivals?