Mourinho Ancelotti curtain raiser in the capital
Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti lock horns on Sunday afternoon in what is one of the more intriguing affairs in the opening weekend of the 2020/21 Premier League season. Both sides have been relatively busy in the transfer market bringing in quality over quantity so far but there is still plenty of time for them to invest in their squads with the deadline not until October 5. After regrouping towards the back end of last season Tottenham Hotspur were able to force their way into Europa League qualification by earning a sixth place finish, whereas Everton on the other hand fell away after the resumption of play despite showing a lot of promise since the appointment of Ancelotti.
Spurs far too short
Spurs are quite strong favourites with the bookies as short as 1.80 with Betfair to win the match which did come as a surprise. Harry Kane’s return from injury and form is what enabled them to push into the European spots last term, in the absence of that, it was a shocking season. They were toothless outside of Son Heung-Min and Kane for much of the campaign producing some extremely damp performances with the side crying out for some creativity in midfield, such that took a hit from the departure of Christian Eriksen. Possibly more price driven than anything else, I am looking to oppose the North Londoners this time around.
In defiance of their sixth placed finish they were as low as 13th in the expected goals table according to Infogol as they consistently underperformed failing to back up their awesome run to the Champions League final and top four finish in 2018/19. The ludicrous replacement of Mauricio Pochettino with Jose Mourinho unsurprisingly made them a lot more defensive, contributing to a decrease in attacking output.
With 315 appearance servant Jan Vertonghen exiting on a free to Benfica this summer there is room for defensive recruits with one in so far in the form of Matt Doherty from top six chasing rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, in a deal worth just over £15million. Joe Hart has come in on a free to provide backup in between the sticks but the marquee signing is Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton. The acquisition of the Dane has seen impressive young full back Kyle Walker-Peters go the other way, but the former Bayern Munich man strengthens the teams overall unit. After impressing with his ball progression in particular last term, Spurs should have more thrust and penetration in central areas with the 25-year-old expected to be deployed alongside Argentinian creative peg Giovani Lo Celso.
Everton have hit the headlines with some great deals being completed this week, the midfield trio of Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez have all joined up with the squad in the last few days and will be raring to go in North London. We will learn a lot from how their fare in this evenly matched encounter.
This one could end up being cagey, with players finding their way for new clubs. Everton will hold their own. Give them a 0.75 goal start with the assurance of half your stake returning should they be defeated by a single goal.