This game’ sees the 49th time these two teams have met in the Premier League, which has reached its 25th season with Spurs holding the significant dominance with 22 wins to Everton’s 8 wins. Spurs have recorded 8 wins at Goodison Park and will hope to add to this on the opening day. The two sides are in an elite band of six that have played in every season of the Premier League since its inception.
This game is Ronald Koeman’s first Premier League in charge of Everton, after replacing Roberto Martinez in the summer. After a successful spell in charge of Southampton, leading them to sixth place finish, Koeman managed to replace and progress despite losing many of his 1st team squad. Mauricio Pochettino heads into his 3rd year as Spurs boss and will have a tough task on his hands to emulate the 2015/16 season. After a 3rd place finish and Champions League football, many were surprised at how well his young squad played. Pochettino fielded players with an average age 24.7 years, the youngest in the Premier League, proving if you are good enough you are old enough.
Spurs have added to their ranks with the signings of Vincent Janssen from AZ Alkmaar and Victor Wanyama from Southampton, both will add to the quality of the squad and would hope to make a big impact. Wanyama is at an advantage having played in the Premier League before and working under Pochettino could see him making his debut, due to Dembele’s suspension. It will be interesting to see how the Dier and Wanyama partnership will develop, they will have at least four games before Demebele is available for selection. Janssen will be in the squad and hope to make his debut, more than likely from the bench. He was top scorer in the Eredivisie last season, leading AZ Alkmaar to fourth position in the table. Everton have brought in goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg from Fulham to replace the departing Tim Howard. The 33-year-old brings in a wealth of experience and this will be his 3rd spell under Koeman. Everton has also released some high profile names with Leon Osman, Tony Hibbert and Steven Pienaar all being surplus to requirements. Everton’s season could much depend on whether than can hold on to key players such as Romleu Lukaku and John Stones who are targets for Chelsea and Manchester City.
Tottenham like to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Everton likely to line up in a 4-3-3 formation and I would see this continue as Koeman also used this formation at Southampton. Key players in this game will be Harry Kane, who will be looking to put the Euro’s behind him and to grab his 50th Premier League goal in his 87th appearance for Spurs. Toby Alderweireld will most likely resume his partnership with Jan Vertonghen, despite picking up an ankle injury during Euro 16. If he fails to prove his fitness however Kevin Wimmer is more than capable of being in the starting eleven. He showed last season that he can step in whenever called upon and the club showed their faith in him by giving him a new five-year contract. Fans will be interested to see which youth team players can make the step up, the likes of Harrison, Edwards, Miller and Carter-Vickers will hope to join Onomah and Winks in the 1st team squad this season. Winks showed in pre-season that he is more than capable of featuring in the 1st team with his impressive performances against Juventus and Athletic Madrid.
How the two teams might line up:
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