Allardyce warning over Bale
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes his side will have a greater chance of beating London rivals Tottenham on Monday night if they can stop Gareth Bale lighting up Upton Park.
The Welsh winger has been in scintillating form for Spurs this season, already scoring 17 goals and hauling Andre Villas-Boas' side out of trouble on more than one occasion. Allardyce saw his side lose 3-1 at White Hart Lane in November, with Bale's name on the scoresheet and a Jermain Defoe brace proving enough for Spurs to take the points.
"They've been very good," Allardyce said of Spurs' season. "The team from an attacking point of view has been outstanding, Recently they've lost their leading goalscorer, who is Jermain Defoe, and (Emmanuel) Adebayor has been away at the Africa Cup of Nations, so from a goalscoring point of view they've had to rely on one man and one man only to come up with the goods."
He went on: "That's Gareth Bale and he's been the major difference between Tottenham and the teams they've played recently.
"Not only has he scored very important goals, but they've been stunning goals at that. He's going to need some looking after on Monday night."
Clint Dempsey, Lewis Holtby, Aaron Lennon and Mousa Dembele are all capable of popping up with goals for Spurs but Allardyce is keen for the club's fans to get behind his players, who he believes are more than able to provide moments of magic themselves.
He said: "If we can do that we nullify a threat that Tottenham have. Of course [Aaron] Lennon is a threat down the other side, but he doesn't quite score as many goals as Gareth Bale.
"We're not sure yet whether Jermain Defoe will be fit, but certainly we've got to cope with that strike force.
"Our home form has been excellent all season and so we're going to hopefully make sure Tottenham worry about us for a long period of time on Monday night, rather than us worry about them too much."