The Premier League returns this week and one of many intriguing opening-round fixtures is the clash of last season’s Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur and newly-promoted Aston Villa.
The game takes place at the New White Hart Lane, which Spurs are now well and truly settled into and is live on Sky Sports as the first Saturday, 5:30pm, fixture of the new season.
Ahead of the match, our in-house Tottenham Hotspur fan Kieran Burke has previewed the game as well as giving his betting tips.
The pundits will always tell you that the so called “big clubs” would rather not play one of the newly-promoted sides on the opening day of the season as the newcomers are often still on a high from their promotion to the elite level and can pose a potential banana skin for the league’s more-experienced outfits.
While there are many famous examples of newly-promoted sides upsetting the odds on day one of a new Premier League campaign, recent history isn’t exactly in Villa’s favor as Cardiff City, Fulham and Wolves mustered only a point between them on August 10th last year with Wolverhampton Wanderers drawing 2-2 with Everton in a thriller at Molineux.
The “Villans” won 20 of their 46 league matches in the Championship last term, defeating Frank Lampard’s Derby County 2-1 in the play-off final at Wembley in what was an extremely impressive display.
Villa have wasted no time off the back of their promotion, spending in excess of £133,000,000 on 12 new signings. Of course, such spending is no guarantee in terms of survival, with Fulham spending over £100,000,000 last season before flopping straight back down to the second-tier.
Meanwhile, Spurs have made just two signings, shelling out a club record fee of £54,000,00 for all-action midfielder Tanguy Ndombélé from Lyon, who has impressed in pre-season. Likewise, the London club have impressed as a whole in pre-season with wins against the likes of Juventus and Real Madrid, as well as lifting the Audi Cup with a penalty shoot-out win against Bayern Munich.
While such results are often dismissed as nothing more than friendlies, Spurs’ performances against elite opposition in recent weeks does demonstrate the task Aston Villa are up against on opening night at the Lane.
Mauricio Pochettino has major worries on his mind ahead of Saturday’s season opener. Heung-Min Son is suspended after his red card at Bournemouth last season, Juan Foyth had been playing as a full-back in pre-season but now faces a lengthy sideline spell through injury, while Dele Alli will also miss the start of the campaign with a muscle injury. Ben Davies , Victor Wanyama and Cameron Carter-Vickers are also sidelined.
With Foyth no longer an option at right-full, an injury scare involving Serge Aurier leaves Pochettino very short-handed in that area with Kyle-Walker-Peters likely to get the nod as a result. Finally, England international Eric Dier is also listed as doubtful for the game.
As for the visitors, Tom Heaton is likely to start between the sticks, with Orjan Nyland failing to feature in pre-season as he recovers from an Achilles injury. New signing Wesley played his first game for the Birmingham club in a 3-1 friendly win over RB Leipzig and is available for selection, while James Chester is likely to miss out due to a knee injury picked up in pre-season.
Tottenham v Aston Villa is one of three ‘Double The Odds On First Goalscorer Bets’ matches we have available this weekend
Even with a raft of injuries (and transfer speculation surrounding Christian Eriksen ahead of Thursday’s deadline day), Tottenham Hotspur possess more than enough quality in the attacking third to hurt a Villa side that will have to gel and settle in quickly at this higher level.
Aston Villa will take heart, though, in the fact Spurs will be unable to field their strongest back-four, but, should Walker-Peters play at full-back, the youngster proved at the Camp Nou last season he is mentally and technically adept at the elite level.
As a result, the bet recommendation is simply to include Tottenham in your opening Premier League ACCA of the season.
In saying that, Lucas Moura has been in superb form for the Londoners in pre-season and the Brazilian to score anytime in a Spurs win is currently available @ 7/5, while he is 5/1 to grab Tottenham’s opening goal of the season as a first goal-scorer in the match against Aston Villa.