MX23RW : Thursday, October 1 16:55:40| >> :60:2747:2747:

Tottenham Hotspur season preview - predictions, fixtures, summer signings, starting XI

Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at Tottenham Hotspur ahead of the start of the 2020-21 Premier League season.

Tottenham Hotspur head into the new Premier League season with a return to the Champions League as their main target after missing out last term.

A tumultuous campaign for the North London outfit saw a change of manager, but under Jose Mourinho their results generally improved and they will be expected to launch a sterner challenge for the top four this time around.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at Spurs ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.



How did they fare last season?

Harry Kane celebrates with Tottenham Hotspur teammates after scoring against Leicester City on July 19, 2020© Reuters

Disappointingly.

The major question hanging over the head of Tottenham going into the campaign was how they would deal with the hangover of losing in the Champions League final against Liverpool as silverware once again eluded them.

The answer was not well; after just three wins from their opening 12 league games - including defeats at home to Newcastle United and away to Brighton & Hove Albion - an EFL Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United and a Champions League humiliation at home to Bayern Munich, the popular Mauricio Pochettino was sacked, leaving behind a legacy of progress but ultimately no trophies.

In came serial winner Jose Mourinho as his high-profile replacement and things certainly improved following his arrival - starting with three wins from his first three matches.

Spurs sat 14th in the table when Mourinho took over, closer to the relegation zone than they were to the top four, but ended the season in sixth place, pipping Wolverhampton Wanderers to a Europa League spot on goal difference.

Victories over Manchester City and North London rivals Arsenal provided the domestic high points, while in the Champions League their comeback triumph over Olympiacos to secure a place in the knockout rounds would also rank high.

However, there were also a number of lows such as their cup exits, the lesson they took at the hands of Bayern and their 3-0 loss at Brighton in October.



Biggest improvement needed

Away form.

If only home form counted last season, Tottenham would have finished third in the table and could look forward to another Champions League group stage in 2020-21.

As it was, their tally of just 20 points from 19 away games dragged them down the standings.

Spurs lost seven and won just four times on their travels all season, with Aston Villa, Watford and Norwich City the only teams to manage fewer victories.



Manager: Jose Mourinho

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho pictured on August 22, 2020© Reuters

Perhaps still the most high-profile manager in world football, Jose Mourinho's appointment at Tottenham raised eyebrows and was seen as a departure from the style and ethos of the Pochettino era.

The reasoning behind the appointment was clear - the only thing lacking from Pochettino's reign was silverware, whereas Mourinho has won trophies at every club he has been at, including two Champions Leagues and eight league titles in four different countries.

However, relatively underwhelming spells had seen him sacked from his previous two roles in England - at Chelsea and Manchester United - and the jury is still out for many whether the self-proclaimed 'Special One' is indeed still special.



Key player: Harry Kane

Tottenham hotspur striker Harry Kane pictured in July 2020© Reuters

The talisman of this Tottenham side, Harry Kane once again chalked up an impressive tally of goals last season despite missing a chunk of the campaign through injury.

The 27-year-old's 18 league strikes came in just 29 games, while he netted 24 times in 34 appearances across all competitions.

A thirst for silverware will no doubt see him linked with a move away again next summer if Mourinho is unable to bring trophies to North London, but they will certainly stand a much greater chance of ending their drought with Kane in their ranks than without.



Summer transfer business

Matt Doherty pictured for Wolves in July 2020© Reuters

In
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£14.9m, Southampton)
Giovani Lo Celso (28.8m, Real Betis)
Joe Hart (free, Burnley)
Matt Doherty (£15.1m, Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Sergio Reguilon (£27m, Real Madrid)
Gareth Bale (loan, Real Madrid)

Out
Troy Parrott (loan, Millwall)
Michel Vorm (released)
Jan Vertonghen (free, Benfica)
Timothy Eyoma (loan, Lincoln City)
Kyle Walker-Peters (£12m, Southampton)
Luke Amos (undisclosed, QPR)
Oliver Skipp (loan, Norwich City)
Jack Roles (loan, Burton Albion)
Shilow Tracey (loan, Shrewsbury Town)

Tottenham total spent to date: £58.9m
Tottenham total received to date: £12m

Tottenham net transfer balance: -£46.9m




Squad

1. Hugo Lloris (GK)
2. Matt Doherty (DF)
4. Toby Alderweireld (DF)
5. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (MF)
6. Davinson Sanchez (DF)
7. Son Heung-min (MF)
8. Harry Winks (MF)
10. Harry Kane (FW)
11. Erik Lamela (MF)
12. Joe Hart (GK)
15. Eric Dier (MF)
17. Moussa Sissoko (MF)
18. Giovani Lo Celso (MF)
19. Ryan Sessegnon (MF)
20. Dele Alli (MF)
21. Juan Foyth (DF)
22. Paulo Gazzaniga (GK)
23. Steven Bergwijn (MF)
24. Serge Aurier (DF)
25. Japhet Tanganga (DF)
27. Lucas Moura (MF)
28. Tanguy Ndombele (MF)
30. Gedson Fernandes (MF)
33. Ben Davies (DF)
40. Brandon Austin (GK)
41. Alfie Whiteman (GK)
47. Jack Clarke (FW)
48. Harvey White (MF)
49. Dennis Cirkin (DF)
- Danny Rose (DF)
- Cameron Carter-Vickers (DF)



Possible starting XI

TOTXI



Fixture list

Tottenham have been handed a home tie to kick off the new season, welcoming Everton to North London in their opening match before visiting Southampton in their first away game.

Spurs face a difficult run in November and December, including a three-game streak which sees them face Manchester City, Chelsea and local rivals Arsenal in succession.

The return edition of the North London derby comes in March, and Tottenham end the campaign away to Leicester City.

Tottenham Hotspur players celebrate an Everton own goal on July 6, 2020© Reuters

SEPTEMBER

12: Everton (h)

19: Southampton (a)

26: Newcastle (h)

OCTOBER

3: Man Utd (a)

17: West Ham (h)

24: Burnley (a)

31: Brighton (h)

NOVEMBER

7: West Brom (a)

21: Man City (h)

28: Chelsea (a)

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Winks and Arsenal's Sokratis Papastathopoulos clash on September 1, 2019© Reuters

DECEMBER

5: Arsenal (h)

12: Crystal Palace (a)

16: Liverpool (a)

19: Leicester (h)

26: Wolves (a)

28: Fulham (h)

JANUARY

2: Leeds (h)

12: Aston Villa (a)

16: Sheffield Utd (a)

27: Liverpool (h)

30: Brighton (a)

Jose Mourinho and Frank Lampard on the touchline as Tottenham Hotspur face Chelsea in the Premier League on December 22, 2019.© Reuters

FEBRUARY

3: Chelsea (h)

6: West Brom (h)

13: Man City (a)

20: West Ham (a)

27: Burnley (h)

MARCH

6: Crystal Palace (h)

13: Arsenal (a)

20: Southampton (h)

APRIL

3: Newcastle (a)

10: Man Utd (h)

17: Everton (a)

24: Fulham (a)

Harry Kane somehow scores for Tottenham Hotspur against Leicester City in the Premier League on September 21, 2019.© Reuters

MAY

1: Sheffield Utd (h)

8: Leeds (a)

12: Wolves (h)

15: Aston Villa (h)

23: Leicester (a)



Prediction: 5th

As always seems to be the case with Tottenham, their final league position could depend on if Harry Kane stays fit for the entire season. Indeed, considering the injury woes they had last term, simply having the majority of their players fit and firing will be a welcome improvement for Mourinho and co.

The ultimate goal is to get back into the Champions League, but there is a big question mark over whether their summer business has been enough to bridge that gap.

Chelsea and Manchester United appear to be ahead of Spurs in the race for the top four at this stage, but their other target of winning an overdue trophy could occur given Mourinho's exemplary record in knockout competitions.


ID:411437:
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Lucas Moura celebrates his hat-trick goal as Tottenham Hotspur complete their comeback win against Ajax on May 8, 2019
Read Next:
A look back at Tottenham's turbulent year since beating Ajax
>
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Tables

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!