Tottenham Hotspur have had a mixed pre-season, playing some of the biggest teams in world football in the last month. They beat Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup final on penalties but just days later lost to Inter Milan in a similar fashion. But Mauricio Pochettino will now turn his attention towards their first Premier League tie this weekend.
Spurs start their league campaign when they welcome Aston Villa to their new stadium. The Villains fought hard for promotion last season and were impressive in their pre-season games. Pochettino’s men play at home on the opening weekend for the first time since 2010 and face Villa, who have won just one of their last 17 meetings against the London giants. Spurs will settle for nothing less than three points to start the campaign. Here is the team news and predicted lineup for Tottenham Hotspur for this game:
Pochettino will be without the services of Ben Davies (groin), Juan Foyth (ankle) and Dele Alli (hamstring), all of who are out injured. Victor Wanyama, Eric Dier and Serge Aurier are doubtful and need to prove their fitness to be a part of this game. New signing Giovani Lo Celso might just make the squad after his move on the deadline day along with new left-back Ryan Sessegnon.
PREDICTED TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR LINEUP vs ASTON VILLA (4-3-2-1)
Hugo Lloris has no real quality shot-stopper pushing him for a place in the first team. The French star should keep his place in the side under the bar against Villa. Toby Alderweireld might only find a place on the bench as Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez have complemented each other well and will start at the heart of the defence this weekend.
With Kieran Trippier sold and Serge Aurier doubtful for this game, young Kyle Walker-Peters, who does not seem fazed by the challenges in the top-flight, will keep his place in the side at right-back.
Danny Rose is likely to start the game as Sessegnon might not be pushed straight into the starting lineup just a couple of days after his move.
Moussa Sissoko has looked a different player since the turn of the year and is one of the first names on the team sheet for Spurs now. He should play on the right side of the midfield. New signing Tanguy Ndombele has shown no nerves at the highest stage and Pochettino should show confidence in the midfielder, and hand him his first Premier League start against Villa this weekend.
Harry Winks is the best option for Spurs in the no.6 role. The youngster will hope to nullify the threat of Jack Grealish and Trezeguet in the middle of the park.
Harry Kane is still the only striker in the senior side for Spurs. He should lead the line and will have Lucas Moura playing in a support striker role, adding some pace to Spurs’ attack.
Christian Eriksen continues to be linked with an exit this summer. But he is still a Tottenham Hotspur player and their most creative outlet in the absence of Dele Alli. The Dane could complete the attack for the Lilywhites.
Here is how they might line up: