Tottenham Hotspur will embark on their Wembley adventures as they host Juventus in a friendly match before the Premier League season begins
Tottenham will host Juventus at Wembley as their temporary move away from north London kicks off on Saturday. Playing the Italian champions will certainly appear to be a daunting task for the Spurs, especially considering the fact that they have had a poor record at the legendary stadium, winning just once in four games.
The Spurs have also not fared too well in their pre-season matches so far. Manager Mauricio Pochettino has always been vocal about how these results do not matter as much, but even he will have to admit that eight goals conceded in three games and the way they lost to Manchester City will be of concern.
Juventus, on the other hand, are a very strong team and it could provide Pochettino’s squad with a perfect opportunity to test out their players and tactics right before the Premier League season starts. A win could also give them a welcome boost in terms of confidence ahead of the new season.
Team News and Tactics
Harry Winks is expected to retain his place in the midfield area while Victor Wanyama will continue to be sidelined. Kieran Trippier is likely to be given another chance to impress against a top side – an opportunity that the player will value ahead of the forthcoming campaign.
Harry Kane and Dele Alli have not been playing up to their potential in the pre-season games so far. They have just one goal between them, coming from the penalty spot, and the duo will be looking to increase their numbers to get into the groove because they do not have much time left.
Pochettino is expected to play a full-strength squad to restrict Juventus in the hopes of a win. The manager will be aware of Mousa Dembele’s importance in the clash. Despite his injury and fitness concerns, Dembele has proven to be a rock in the centre of the park for Tottenham and will be absolutely vital to the Spurs’ fortunes.
Tottenham’s attack will be crucial against a defensively-strong side like Juventus. However, of late, the Spurs attack has only looked sluggish with a lack of sharpness. This match will be ideal for Kane and Alli to rekindle their fiery instincts that saw them blossom into one of the deadliest attacking duos in Europe.
Possible starting XI (3-4-2-1): Lloris, Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dembele, Winks, Trippier, Eriksen, Alli, Kane
New Juventus man Federico Bernardeschi endured a test run against Roma on Sunday and is likely to start at Wembley as well. Players like Giorgio Chiellini, Sami Khedira and Douglas Costa are also expected to come in after substitute outings in previous encounters this summer.
Fresh after a satisfactory tour of the United States, Juventus will be eager to continue their good fortunes on English soil. The club registered fairly easy wins over Paris Saint-Germain and Roma, and Massimiliano Allegri’s men will be hoping for a third win before playing Lazio in the Italian Super Cup final on 13 August in Rome.
As mentioned earlier, the outcome of the game is likely to depend on the colossal battle that will ensue in the midfield. Allegri will be aware of Dembele’s prowess and will focus on ensuring Pjanic is in top-notch form to rise up to the challenge.
Having said that, Allegri is likely to struggle with finding a worthy replacement for Dani Alves. During the friendly against PSG, the manager deployed Stephen Lichtsteiner in that position, but it proved to be a step backwards since replacing Alves is not going to be an easy task.
A club that is known for its defensive strengths might topple against a Spurs attack if Harry Kane and Dele Alli manage to get back to form. Thus, as far as their defence is concerned, Allegri will have to work towards maintaining the strong reputation Juventus built over the course of last season.
Possible starting XI (4-2-3-1): Buffon, De Sciglio, Chiellini, Rugani, Sandro, Khedira, Pjanic, Costa, Bernardeschi, Dybala, Higuain
- This is Juventus’ first ever official match at Wembley Stadium.
- This is the second match in as many years that Juve play a pre-season match in London after beating West Ham 3-2 last August at the London Stadium.
- Tottenham played at Wembley in last season’s Champions League, beating CSKA Moscow, but losing to Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen, as they were eliminated at the group stage.
- The Bianconeri have won 12 of their 23 official matches played in England, drawing three and losing eight.
Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 2 Juventus
The Spurs have been somewhat off during their pre-season travels so far and they urgently need to rediscover their form from the 2016/17 season. Harry Kane and Dele Alli have fallen behind and Pochettino will be counting on them to pick up the slack.
Playing at Wembley – a venue that has not proven to be too kind to Pochettino’s men – could add to the pressure since they will want to impress their home fans against the Champions League finalists.
Hence, as a result, Juventus have enough experience and are in a better form to take advantage of the Spurs. Tottenham’s attack has been extremely blunt coupled with a sloppy defence. Juventus can easily capitalize on both fronts, thus sealing a victory.