Mauricio Pochettino’s first competitive game as Spurs’ boss will come against rivals West Ham United, with the North London side looking for revenge after losing to the Hammers in all three games last season.
Sam Allardyce’s men recorded a 3-0 win at White Hart Lane in the Premier League, a 2-1 victory in the Capital One Cup quarter final and won their penultimate game of the season 2-0.
Another worrying statistic for Spurs’ fans is the current Hammers boss is unbeaten in three games when facing Mauricio Pochettino, with West Ham drawing against Southampton twice and the last time the two teams faced each other, West Ham United ended up 3-1 winners in February 2014.
In a stark contrast to last season’s transfer window, Spurs have been relatively quiet in this summer, bringing in Michel Vorm, Ben Davies and Eric Dier from Swansea City and Sporting Lisbon respectively. The North London side have let 11 players leave so far this summer, although Jake Livermore, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Gomes are the only high profile names to leave n17, with Mauricio Pochettino reportedly keen on selling another seven by the end of the transfer window.
West Ham, however, have brought in six players including Aaron Cresswell, Ecuador’s star striker Enner Valencia, Carl Jenkinson on loan from Arsenal and Diego Poyet on a free from Charlton Athletic. Allardyce, like Pochettino, has also had a summer clear-out, releasing two players while sending another six players out on loan.
Enner Valencia is striving to be fit for the first game, despite rumours suggesting he will miss the first two weeks of the Premier League season. Carl Jenkinson, Guy Demel and Andy Carroll will definitely miss the Spurs game; while Aaron Cresswell is struggling to make the squad due to a groin/pelvis injury.
Spurs are set to miss Michael Dawson, Kyle Walker, Mousa Dembele and Vlad Chiriches for the trip to West Ham.
- Spurs have won just four of their last 16 opening weekend fixtures in the Premier League (D4 L8)
- This game will be Sam Allardyce’s 400th as a Premier League manager.
- Spurs won 10 Premier League away games in 2013-2014, only one team (Arsenal, 11) recorded more.
- Spurs scored only nine goals in 10 Premier League derbies in 2013-2014.
West Ham United’s Mark Noble
Simply put, Mark Noble is Mr. West Ham – the 27 year-old won Hammer of the Year, as voted by the fans, and Players’ Player of the Year, after playing 37 games, contributing to seven of West Ham’s goals (3 goals, 4 assists).
Noble averaged 2.9 tackles per game, 1.9 interceptions and 1.1 fouls per game; while averaging 1.5 key passes per game and finished the 13/14 season with an 82.8% pass success rate.
In a season of discontent from the fans, who were regularly unhappy with Sam Allardyce’s tactics, Noble was the bright spark of the team, and is set to up the ante in the first London derby of the season.
Spurs’ Christian Eriksen
Much like West Ham United’s Mark Noble, Christian Eriksen was the light in a very underwhelming season for Spurs in their last campaign. In a season where Spurs had two managers and three thrashings – only three Spurs players could hold their head up high when the final whistle blew in their final game against Aston Villa – Hugo Lloris, Emmanuel Adebayor and Christian Eriksen.
The Danish international contributed to 15 goals in 23 Premier League appearances, (7 goals, 8 assists). Eriksen averaged 1.9 shots and 2.9 key passes per game, while obtaining a pass success rate of 81.9%.
If Spurs are to secure a top six finish, and potentially fight in the latter stages in their cup competitions this season, Eriksen will need to average the same sort of numbers as he did in his first campaign for the North London side.
Odds and Predicted Scoreline: West Ham United 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
With Spurs having the option of Emmanuel Adebayor or Roberto Soldado up front, and Hammers having to resort to Mauro Zarate as their main striker with Andy Carroll out for the long-term and Enner Valencia struggling to make the match-day squad – one bet that may interest the punters is for Emmanuel Adebayor to have more shots than Mauro Zarate at 2.46 at Tailor Bet, while Adebayor is available at 11/10 to score anytime at Betway. The Togo striker attempted 2.1 shots per game last season, and will look to test the Hammers defence once again on the opening weekend.
Spurs have won just four of their last 16 Premier League opening games, although the North London side had one of the best away records in the division last season. Mauricio Pochettino will look to continue this in his first season at Spurs, but may have to wait for his first win, as the draw at 12/5 looks tempting with neither side looking to leave East London with their first loss of the season.