The new Premier League season gets underway tomorrow – how we’ve all missed it. Tottenham Hotspur start their last season at White Hart Lane with an away trip to Everton, and will be looking to get off to a much more successful start to the season than last year, when they didn’t collect their first three points until the fifth game of the season against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
The Toffees will be looking to make the 16/17 season much more successful than the 15/16 campaign was, and the players will have a point to prove to new manager Ronald Koeman to stake their claim for a regular starting spot in his plans. Everton have had a strange transfer window so far, with the sale of John Stones to Manchester City being the most notable deal involving them so far. The announcement of the former Swansea man and Wales heroic captain Ashley Williams will have lightened the mood amongst fans around Goodison, with the potential deals for Lamine Koné from Sunderland and Yannick Bolasie of Crystal Palace still in the pipeline. Dangerous frontman Romelu Lukaku and adventurous full back Seamus Coleman are doubts for the game against Spurs, and new signing Williams cannot play due to a disrupted pre season. James McCarthy is also a doubt for the match.
Spurs will look to improve on recent results at Everton; one win in the last five visits to Goodison does not bode well for the men from White Hart Lane. However, last season’s performance at Goodison can be cause for optimism. A goal from Aaron Lennon (who else?!) put us 1-0 down very much against the run of play, however Dele Alli’s chest control and volley made it 1-1 following Toby’s 65 yard diagonal pass – one of the goals of the season. Despite controlling much more of the game following Alli’s goal, Spurs were unable to find a winner. We have certainly had some horror shows at Goodison in recent years though, perhaps the most iconic is that of a 2-1 loss under AVB. 1-0 up after 90 minutes, before a Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic double in the 90th and 92nd minutes sent us home with zero points. I’m sure not many Spurs fans will forget that game for years to come.
Predicted Everton XI:
Stekelenburg; Holgate, Funes Mori, Jagielka, Baines; Gueye, Barry; Lennon, Barkley, Mirallas; Deulofeu.
Coleman and Lukaku likely to miss out, with Holgate and Deulofeu coming in to replace them. Ronald Koeman revealed that new signing and ex-Swansea City captain Ashley Williams will not feature.
Predicted Tottenham Hotspur XI:
Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Wanyama, Lamela, Alli, Eriksen, Kane.
Mousa Dembele remains suspended from the end of last season which means new signing Victor Wanyama may be given a competitive debut as a result. Vincent Janssen likely to feature off the bench. Other than that, no real changes from our best XI last year.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur.