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Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Birmingham City - prediction, team news, head-to-head record

Sports Mole previews Saturday's pre-season clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Birmingham City, including team news and predicted lineups.

Tottenham Hotspur will play the second of two quick-fire friendlies against Birmingham City on Saturday, just 24 hours after welcoming Reading for their second pre-season clash.

Spurs opened their preparations for the 2020-21 campaign with a 3-0 victory over Ipswich Town last weekend but their next two friendlies against Championship opposition will arrive in quick succession.


Match preview

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

As mentioned, Jose Mourinho's side kicked off their preparations for the 2020-21 campaign with a 3-0 success over Ipswich last weekend. Ryan Sessegnon scored the opener for the Premier League club, while Son Heung-min netted twice during what was a good performance from the home side.

Harry Kane was not involved, having been forced to quarantine on return from the Bahamas, but a strong XI did take to the field, while there were debuts for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Joe Hart.

Matt Doherty could feature this weekend if his proposed move from Wolverhampton Wanderers goes through, while the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Lucas Moura and Dele Alli should also all play a part.

There will be a lot of rotation, though, as Mourinho's side face two games in the space of two days, taking on Reading on Friday before facing Birmingham 24 hours later. Spurs will then round off their preparations for the 2020-21 campaign away to now Championship side Watford on September 5.

Everton will then be the visitors to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season, and the capital giants will be determined to get off to a positive start.

Aitor Karanka in charge of Nottingham Forest on November 28, 2018© Reuters

Birmingham, meanwhile, have played two friendlies since ending their 2019-20 Championship season with a 3-1 home defeat to Derby County on July 22.

The Blues opened their preparations for next term with a 1-1 draw against Charlton Athletic on August 22 before suffering a 2-0 defeat to Premier League side Leicester City on Wednesday.

New head coach Aitor Karanka again used a different XI in each half and that is again expected to be the case this weekend, although Gary Gardner, Lukas Jutkiewicz and George Friend should all be involved, having been left out of the clash with the Foxes at the Trillion Trophy Training Centre.

Birmingham, who have sold Jude Bellingham to Borussia Dortmund this summer, will round off their pre-season preparations against Walsall on September 1 before taking on Cambridge United in the EFL Cup on September 5.

Karanka's side will then open their 2020-21 Championship campaign at home to Brentford on September 12 and are also due to face Swansea City and Rotherham United before the end of the month.

Tottenham pre-season form: W

Birmingham pre-season form: DL


Head To Head

Tottenham lead the overall head-to-head record between the two teams, with the London side posting 45 wins to Birmingham's 28, while there have also been 21 draws.

The pair have not locked horns in a competitive match since May 2011, though, when Spurs ran out 2-1 winners in the Premier League.

Two of the last four top-flight clashes between the two sides have finished level, although Birmingham thumped Tottenham 4-1 in a Premier League clash in March 2008.


SM words green background

We say: Tottenham 2-1 Birmingham

It will be fascinating to see how Mourinho manages his squad over the next two matches, and Birmingham are sure to provide tough opposition for the hosts this weekend. We are expecting a tight game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but expect the top-flight club to emerge victorious.


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Who will win Saturday's pre-season friendly between Tottenham Hotspur and Birmingham City?

Tottenham Hotspur
Draw
Birmingham City
Tottenham Hotspur
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Birmingham City
0.0%
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Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho pictured on August 22, 2020
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