West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has Sunday’s fixture (November 22) at White Hart lane as a “special game”.

Only goal difference separates the Hammers and Spurs with – with the north Londoners ahead in fifth place on 21 points after 12 games.

Bilic reminisced about his first appearance in a Hammers shirt against the Lilywhites in 1996.

Bilic said: “It is a special game. It was special when I used to play for West Ham. Playing Spurs away was my first game in a West Ham shirt and we won 1-0. There are some games that are more special to the fans and this is one of them. Some are saying it’s the game of the season for West Ham but I wouldn’t call it that – but it is a special game and we’re looking forward to it.

“You can feel the excitement building around the camp over the past few.”

On the back of an emotional and devastating international break – overshadowed by the terrorist attack in Paris last Friday night – a busy fixture list approaches over the Christmas and New Year.

Despite failing to win in their last two games, Bilic is confident his team can maintain a good run of results.

Angelo Ogbonna, right, trains with Manuel Lanzini at Chadwell Heath on November 20

“This is the Premier League and it’s very dangerous and demanding league,” said the 47-year-old. “You have to be in good form, you have to be on your toes and you have to concentrate.

“We’re in a good position but it’s only a start – but it’s good to have a good amount of points. You have a pattern that brought us to this place which is also good for confidence. December is close and everything can change. We’re approaching it with our eyes wide open but we are very confident and we know what we have to do.”

The major loss of French midfield playmaker Dimitri Payet and Ecuadorian attacker Enner Valencia means a possible first start for winger Michail Antonio since his £7million summer deadline day switch from Championship side Nottingham Forest.

The east Londoners have a welcome boost with the return of main striker Diafra Sakho – who makes his comeback after three weeks out with a groin injury. The Senegalese will help the Boleyn Ground side attempt to go three game at White Hart Lane unbeaten.