Finally, Tottenham starts the opening game of the Premier League season at home, for the first time since 2010. They will face Aston Villa, who also have a homecoming; returning to the Premier League after a three-year absence. Over the years, Villa have been tough opponents for Spurs, and the Spurs faithful will be looking forward to resuming their encounters with the boys in Claret and Blue.
In the modern era, Villa have been no pushover side for Spurs. In 48 Premier League encounters, Spurs have won 19, whilst Villa have won 14, with both clubs sharing 15 draws. So, whilst Tottenham have generally enjoyed a little more success, but must not take their first oppositions lightly.
Players Spurs Must Watch
In the case of Jack Grealish, Spurs fans probably admire him as much as they might fear his presence. He has always stood out, with his tiny shin pads and well-worn boots. But more importantly, he has so impressive for Villa in recent years. Indeed, so much so that Tottenham were chasing for his signature. This is due to not just his tenacity but his technical ability to bring a little of something special to the game.
Grealish has an eye for a pass and can fire shots in from distance. He now looks likely to stay at Villa, and when he does, he will undoubtedly bring the fire and excitement into the fixture.
A towering Brazilian forward, Wesley Moraes is 6ft 3in of power. Described as “an absolute tank” by Birmingham Mail, Villa secured him for a record fee. He arrived this summer from Club Brugge. Whilst he is untested in English football, his physicality alone is frightening.
Spurs and Villa fans alike may not know his life story, but it is one of struggle, losing his father at nine years of age, having a son at fifteen and as The Guardian remarks, one leg is three centimetres shorter than the other. He has overcome much adversity in his personal life, but also in his physicality in order to reach his current situation. All fans should keep an eye on this spirited talent.
Expect Spurs to put out their best team for the opening game. Villa will need to be able to defend threats from the plethora of attacking players at their opponent’s disposal.
Defenders James Chester and Tyrone Mings will need to be cautious on their own return to the Premier League. Chester will be able to tap into his previous experience of the topflight under West Bromwich Albion and Hull City and should thus be able to steady the ship.
Furthermore, with the new stadium, there will be a deafening bowl of support that will urge a rampant Spurs side on in the opening minutes of the match. The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is truly a magnificent sight to behold, regardless of away or home fan perspective.
It is a great way to welcome Aston Villa back in arguably one of the best stadiums in Europe. It definitely does not have the feel of Villa Park, not in terms of its architecture, at least, and the sound it can produce is awe-inspiring.
Line up and Formation
Hugo Lloris, Juan Foyth, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Ryan Sessegnon (TBC), Moussa Sissoko, Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son, Lucas Moura, Harry Kane.
2-0 Tottenham. Finally starting the opener at home, Spurs may have secured one or two more big names that add to a Champions League challenging squad. Villa will not go down quietly though, which should make for an entertaining affair.
Thanks to Declan Wiseman from Spurs for Life.