Tottenham and Fulham face-off in a renewed London derby as Spurs are set for an extended run at Wembley as their temporary home.
Tottenham, despite all the criticism they have received in the last few days owing to their lack of transfer activity, did start their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 win over Newcastle United. Goals from Jan Vertonghen and Dele Alli ensured Spurs began their campaign with much optimism and now face their newly promoted London rivals.
Tottenham Manager Mauricio Pochettino this week stated that he would be open to allowing players who are not committed to his and the club’s cause to leave before the transfer window for Europe closes. The general belief, however, is that most players are behind the manager and will look to bring more success this season to the team.
Tottenham were also in the news this week for it was revealed that they are set to prolong their stay at Wembley and extend their impressive record from last season until at least late October or November of this year. There had been reported safety concerns with their new stadium, and it looks likely they will play at Wembley, a place where the Fulham game was supposedly their last game here.
Fulham on the other hand return to Wembley with happy memories, for this, is the place they gained promotion to the Premier League back in May of this year. And it would be this stadium where they would be hoping to kick-start their Premier League campaign with a win over Tottenham after their loss to Crystal Palace on the opening weekend.
After heavy activity in the transfer market where they made some quality signings including that of Jean-Michel Seri from Nice as well as retaining essential players, there is a general expectation from them to start performing. Everyone at the club will be excited enough to make a strong statement with a result, especially against Spurs.
Team News & Tactics
Mauricio Pochettino is not expected to make many changes to his side that won against Newcastle on the opening weekend. However, Spurs will be without the services of their attacker, Heung-min Son who is representing South Korea in the Asian Cup.
On the injury front, Spurs will be without Victor Wanyama as he is still nursing a knee injury. However, there was optimistic news for Pochettino as Erik Lamela and Harry Winks have both returned to training following difficult spells on the sidelines in recent times. Despite the absence of Son and Wanyama, Tottenham still boasts one of the strongest sides and will definitely look to play their best starting-XI against Fulham.
The future of Toby Alderweireld and left-back Danny Rose is still up in the air, and the manager’s comments about players not being committed could have been aimed at the pair. So understandably, their involvement could be doubtful, as these players could still depart before August 31st.
Serge Aurier is expected to continue his role at right-back and would be preferred over Kieran Trippier as well as Lucas Moura and Moussa Sissoko who are in the side’s startingXI simply as a backup.
But despite those problems, Pochettino is set to field a strong side with the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Hugo Lloris and Jan Vertonghen expected to start, despite their lack of complete match fitness which was evident against Newcastle.
Probable Starting-XI (4-2-3-1) – Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Sissoko, Dier; Moura, Eriksen, Alli; Kane
Ahead of the Tottenham game, Fulham have several concerns with injuries and suspension to their side. First choice left-back Joe Bryan, despite having recovered from an ankle injury is still a doubt owing to complete match fitness. On the other hand, defender Denis Odoi is still suspended due to the red card he received during the Championship play-offs back in May.
There are further defensive troubles for Fulham as Tim Ream, and Alfie Mawson are still out of the side with respective injuries and will play no part against Tottenham. But other than that there are no fresh injury concerns with the team, but the existing ones could prove costly against Harry Kane & Co.
Deadline day signing, Zambo Anguissa, who joined from Marseille could make an appearance, after extensively working with the squad in the last few days.
Probable Starting-XI ( 4-3-3) – Fabri; Christie, Chambers, Le Marchand, Bryan; McDonald, Seri, Cairney; Schurrle, Sessegnon, Mitrovic
- Tottenham have eight victories in their last nine meetings with Fulham.
- Fulham will be playing in only their third game at Wembley, losing one and winning the other.
- In the last 38 games at home, Tottenham have conceded defeat in only two.
- Fulham, on the other hand, have conceded in each of their last 18 away games in the Premier League, while the game against Spurs will be their 1000th in English top-flight.
- Harry Kane has never scored a Premier League goal in August.
Tottenham vs Fulham – Fulham Asian Handicap +2.0 @ 1.600
Tottenham vs Fulham – Full Time Result – Draw or Fulham @ 3.75
Player to Watch
All eyes will be on Harry Kane for various reasons. First and foremost will be to watch his ability to take Tottenham forward in the absence of any signing in the transfer window, significant or otherwise. On the other hand, the increased pressure on the club, the manager as well as on the team to perform, and Kane is set to be the focal point of it all.
On the other hand, there’s the August hoodoo, as Kane has never managed to score a goal during this month in his entire Premier League career. He has played 14 games till date in August but without a goal. Contrastingly he has scored nine goals with just 41 shots in September, and the England striker will be eager to break this hoodoo.
Tottenham 2-0 Fulham
Tottenham, despite their lack of signings in the transfer window that just passed, still boasts one of the strongest sides in the Premier League. Their attacking players as well as defenders standout in plenty of ways against their rivals. And with the game against Fulham coming up, expect them to win over their returning London rivals.
Harry Kane & Co. will showcase their superior quality over the promoted side and are expected to win this game somewhat comfortably. On the other hand, the absence of some of Fulham’s key defenders will prove worthwhile for Spurs to win and continue the excellent start they made last weekend against Newcastle.