Everton will be looking for a much better showing compared to the last couple of seasons as they kick off their new era at Goodison Park under new manager Ronald Koeman with a tough first game against Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs. The Toffees will be up against a side that had a surprising title charge last season and will be looking for the same this campaign.
Spurs had a poor end to a brilliant season last time out as they not only fell short for the title but also lost their grip on the second spot to none other than arch local rivals Arsenal. Pochettino has to ensure that his youthful side have recovered from the hangover.
Here are three key battles that could decide the game.
Idrissa Gueye Vs Victor Wanyama
It will be a battle of muscles, tenacity and strength as the two destroyers in midfield clash against each other. The winner of this clash will help his side to dominate the midfield area. Both made their moves to their respective clubs this summer only and will be keen to impress on their debut.
Gueye will be looking to return the favour to Koeman who brought him in his new project at the Blue half of Merseyside from Championship club Aston Villa. On the other hand, Wanyama reuniting with Pochettino will be something to watch out for. They won’t come up against each other on the pitch, but whoever has a better game could well inspire his team to a win.
Ross Barkley Vs Toby Alderweireld
Ross Barkley had a disappointing last season for Everton after showcasing his brilliant potential at a very tender age. The English international will be looking to reach better heights under new manager Koeman who can help him improve as an individual. Barkley is the prime creator of the Everton side and it will be up to Alderweireld to deal with the threat the 22-year-old poses.
With Vertonghen missing out with injury, inexperienced Wimmer will partner the Belgian at the heart of the defence which makes his job even harder.
Phil Jagielka Vs Harry Kane
The Everton skipper will be up against the best striker in the Premier League from last season and he has to keep the English international silent if Everton have to take away anything from the game. Everton lost John Stones to Manchester City earlier this week but brought in Ashley Williams although the Welsh captain is unlikely to start the game due to lack of match fitness. So, with the inexperienced Funes Mori alongside him, dealing with Kane is even a much bigger ask.