Spurs to get off to winning PL start over Saints

The opening weekend of the 2022/2023 Premier League sees Southampton travel to north London to take on a Tottenham Hotspur side that have been installed as third favourites behind Manchester City and Liverpool to win the division. Antonio Conte staying in post, coupled with some shrewd business in the summer has helped lift expectations. For the Saints, things have been comparatively quiet, though even standing still could see them go backwards. Read our preview here:

Risk a-Sess-ment

Conte has strongly hinted in the build-up to the curtain raiser that Ivan Perišić is not fully fit, whilst fellow new signing Richarlison is suspended. Djed Spence, acquired from Middlesbrough, will duke it out with Emerson Royal for the right wing-back role. Both flanks have been strengthened significantly over the close season, whilst the loan agreement with Barcelona for Clement Lenglet provides a further left-footed option in the heart of defence. Ryan Sessegnon, who prior to last term never held down a berth in the starting XI, should get some sustained opportunities to prove he can compete with Perišić on the left.

Hello Joe, whaddyaknow?

Ralph Hasenhüttl chiefly had dead ball expert James Ward-Prowse to thank for securing top flight status in 2021/2022, and at the time of writing, the England international remains at the club. Keeping him happy and healthy on the south coast will once again be crucial to repeating that feat. The incoming faces are all in the young bracket, with Joe Aribo, signed from Rangers, being the oldest at 25. Supporters will be hoping he can be a dynamic presence in the middle of the park, and he could be tasked with linking attack and midfield in a 4-4-1-1 behind Ché Adams. In goal, Gavin Bazunu, signed from Manchester City, might get the nod ahead of Alex McCarthy and Mateusz Lis, the latter of whom arrived from relegated Turkish outfit Altay.

Betting tip

It's hard to see Southampton getting much joy in the final third, whilst if the front three for Spurs perform anything like they did in the final few months of last season, it could be a long afternoon for the visiting back four. bet365 have odds of 2.17 for a home win with only Conte's men troubling the scoresheet.

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