Tottenham Hotspur vs Fulham features two teams who will be looking to improve upon their performances last weekend. Tottenham’s lacklustre effort in their 2-1 win over Newcastle last week was much expected from a Spurs side who had 12 players playing in Russia at the World Cup, nine of whom featured in the semi-finals. From the start, Tottenham looked tired and players were lacking discipline in closing down their opposition which allowed Newcastle freedom on the ball.
Tottenham became the first Premier League club not to sign a player since the summer transfer window was introduced in 2003, and with no fresh faces in the side they looked to Lucas Moura for inspiration. The nimble Brazilian impressed in only his third Premier League start, as he was everywhere on the pitch and was comfortable to dribble the ball forward, making a number of excellent solo runs.
Jan Vertonghen gave Spurs the lead in the 8th minute after his header crossed the line by 9mm, and earned himself a spot in our team of the week in the process. Just three minutes later Joselu headed in an equaliser after a superb cross from Matt Richie. Dele Alli showed no signs of his lack of pre-season preparation and World Cup fatigue, and scored the winning goal in the 18th minute.
The Magpies were far the better team throughout the game and must have felt extremely hard done by to finish the match with no points. Mohamed Diame hit the post with a vicious shot and Saloman Rondon’s effort deflected over the bar.
Meanwhile, Fulham’s return to the Premier League wasn’t as good as they were expecting having spent close to £100m on signing Bryan, Anguissa, Fosu-Mensah, Rico, Vietto and Seri and securing the loan signing of talisman Andre Schurrle.
They were beaten 2-0 by a far more clinical Crystal Palace side, with goals coming from Schlupp and Zaha. It will take time for Fulham’s new signings to fully integrate into the squad and it looks like they could struggle early on this season.
Spurs’ first home game of the season will be played in what was their temporary home ground last season, with the club agreeing to play just one match at Wembley before moving to the new ‘Tottenham Stadium’ for their second home game against Liverpool on the 15th September.
However, during the build-up to the match Spurs announced they had discovered issues with the crucial safety systems, meaning the completion date of the stadium would have to be delayed and Spurs would have to play a further two games at Wembley. It is unlikely this would have much of an effect on the players, but it has certainly disappointed the fans.
Tottenham’s expected starting XI:
Spurs are expected to line up in a similar fashion to last week. It is likely Trippier could return to the squad, in place of Serge Aurier, after being rested for the opening game, with Pochettino saying the England international still needed extra time to recover from the World Cup. In the other wing-back position, it is unlikely that Rose will be in contention after being linked with a move away to German side Schalke.
One thing that is for certain is that Kane is knackered from his exhaustive World Cup schedule and busy 2017/18. It would be unimaginable for Pochettino to drop Spurs’ star man, but maybe against weaker opposition he should be rested.
With Son away at the Asian games and Erik Lamela recovering from injury it is expected that Lucas Moura will retain his place in the line up.
Fulham’s expected starting XI
Fulham are hoping new signing Anguissa, who joined training on Tuesday will be ready to make his debut at Wembley alongside Cairney and Seri in place of McDonald. Other than that Fulham are expected to keep the same team as they look to build a cohesive side.
The game will be exciting with both teams playing attacking and fluid football. It will be interesting to see the battle between the 17-year-old English winger Ryan Sessegnon and Spurs right-back Kieran Trippier.
Sessegnon didn’t have much of an impact in his first Premier League game for the Cottagers and will be looking to make amends against Spurs. Lucas Moura will enjoy the larger pitch at Wembley which will allow him more space and time to run with the ball and could cause trouble to the Fulham defence. Both teams will be hoping for better performances so we can expect to see Spurs dominating possession whilst Fulham will try to be more clinical on the counter attack.