Spurs begin trophy hunt against ambitious Everton
Tottenham to win 1-0
Tottenham Hotspur ended last season in strong albeit unspectacular fashion, losing just once since football resumed after lockdown.
Manager Jose Mourinho’s brand of football usually has its critics, but few can argue with the results his teams produce. If he can win a trophy with Spurs this season, there won’t be many complaints from their fans.
They have a long way to improve to compete for the league, however – their best chance for silverware will be in the Europa League and domestic cup competitions.
Everton could be a mixed bag this season. Manager Carlo Ancelotti has persuaded big names to join him at the club, but he relies on his stars hitting form straight away or things could get messy on the blue half of Merseyside.
This will be a tight affair with neither side wanting to lose their first match of the season.
Predicted 2020/21 finish: 5th
Reasons to be cheerful:
Mourinho finally has fully fit players and will be determined to prove himself
Club have added solid acquisitions in the transfer market
Reasons to be fearful:
No real cover if Harry Kane gets injured
Style of football can be uninspiring
The stats all point in Spurs’ favour – they’ve won their opening fixture in the previous three seasons, Jose Mourinho has beaten Everton more than any other club in his career and Everton have not beaten a top-six team since 2013.
The feeling is that this season is Tottenham’s best chance of winning a trophy since 2008, when they lifted the League Cup.
Whether it’s going all the way in the Europa League, as Mourinho did with Manchester United in 2017, or lifting a domestic trophy, the fans and board-members alike will settle for anything. It has been that long.
They have made sensible if not sensational purchases, in Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Matt Doherty and if their attacking players stay fit, they could really push for the top-four this year.
Star Man – Harry Kane
Star man Kane scored 24 goals last season despite missing a chunk of it through injury. If he stays fit throughout, he could fire Spurs to a trophy
Predicted 2020/21 finish: 8th
Reasons to be cheerful
Strong signings have added stardust to midfield
Manager Carlo Ancelotti demands success wherever he goes
Reasons to be fearful
Poor form to end last season
Strikers can run hot and cold
Everton certainly cannot be called an unambitious club.
Such is the owner’s determination to elevate The Toffees towards the top of the Premier League that he persuaded one of the most successful managers of the previous two decades, Carlo Ancelotti, to lead them.
They have then lured former golden boy James Rodriguez from sunny Madrid to join their revolution at Goodison Park.
Their best acquisition, however, might well prove to be fellow midfielder Abdoulaye Doucouré from relegated Watford. The Frenchman can add power and quality in the middle of the pitch which they were missing before.
Despite forwards Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin netting 30 goals between them last season, Everton will require more consistency in front of goal if they are to challenge for European places.
The likelihood is that they may well be just short.
Star Man – Richarlison
The Brazilian forward is a player of genuine star quality who can create goals from anywhere. He’ll be pleased with his goal-return last season, but will want to improve again this year
Tight encounter with neither side wanting to lose
Spurs’ quality at the top of the pitch could be the difference
All eyes on James Rodriguez debut performance
Tottenham should be confident of securing three points to kickstart their season.
Everton have not managed too many wins away from home in recent months and Spurs will look to make it difficult for them to play flowing football this weekend.
Mourinho will have Kane, Son, Lucas and Dele Alli fit and firing and it is likely that their strength going forward could steal a narrow win for them.
Tottenham to win 1-0