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Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's opening-weekend Premier League clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Tottenham Hotspur get their 2020-21 Premier League campaign underway on Sunday afternoon when they host Everton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Jose Mourinho will welcome his good friend and fellow managerial legend Carlo Ancelotti to North London with both clubs hoping for better campaigns than last season.


Match preview

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

Those with a sense of deja-vu heading into this fixture will not be alone; this is the 11th time these two sides have met on the opening weekend of a top-flight season, which is three more than any other fixture.

The Tottenham curtain-raiser comes as football fans are given the chance to watch behind-the-scenes footage of their 2019-20 campaign play out on their TV screens, and the capital outfit will be hoping for a smoother journey on and off the pitch this time around.

A return to the top four must be their main goal for the season, but there is plenty of work to do if they are to bridge the seven-point gap which ultimately separated them from Chelsea last season - particularly given the improvement of some of the teams above them.

Mourinho will be the first to tell people that his squad was beset by injuries last season and he will be confident that lightning can't strike twice - at least not to such devastating effect - while he will also take encouragement from his side's progress after he took over.

A sixth-placed finish was not terrible considering they were 14th when Mourinho arrived, and a six-game unbeaten streak to end last season provides more cause for optimism.

Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti greet each other before the Tottenham vs. Everton game in July 2020© Reuters

That run began with victory over Everton at home to stretch their unbeaten streak against the Toffees to 15 games, going back to December 2012.

Everton's record away to Spurs is even worse; they have won just three of their 28 such games in the Premier League era - losing 17 - and the last of those wins came in November 2008, 11 visits ago.

Like Spurs, the Merseysiders have cause for optimism heading into the new campaign, though, having shown improvement under their own world-class manager and also done some eye-catching business during the summer.

James Rodriguez is the most high-profile signing as the former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich playmaker attempts to revive his career in the Premier League, adding a sprinkle of stardust to a team Ancelotti is slowly moulding into his own image.

A significant improvement on last season's 12th-placed finish is expected, and Ancelotti is confident enough to have publicly declared that he is targeting a top-six finish - something Everton have not achieved since 2013-14.

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti pictured on July 9, 2020© Reuters

Victory in North London over one of their top-six rivals would certainly be a good start towards that goal, particularly as Everton's away record last season left a lot to be desired - only the bottom five picked up fewer points on the road.

By contrast, Tottenham's home record was bettered only by Liverpool and Manchester City, including wins in their last four league games on their own turf.

Spurs have also been in encouraging form in pre-season with victories over Ipswich Town, Reading and Birmingham City, although defeat to Watford in their last warm-up game ruined their perfect record.

Everton, meanwhile, fell 3-0 down to Blackpool within 12 minutes of their opening pre-season game, but recovered to draw 3-3 and then beat Preston North End in their most recent friendly.

Tottenham Hotspur pre-season form: WWWL

Everton pre-season form: DW


Team News

Tottenham hotspur striker Harry Kane pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Tottenham have close to a clean bill of health for this match, with Japhet Tanganga the only confirmed absentee and Giovani Lo Celso the only minor doubt for the hosts.

Harry Kane - scorer of eight goals in his last five games against Everton - is fit to lead the line and Dele Alli is expected to support him in the number 10 role, while Steven Bergwijn will be pushing for a start ahead of Lucas Moura.

Summer signings Matt Doherty and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are both expected to make their debuts for Mourinho's men.

Everton are not so lucky when it comes to injuries, with Mason Holgate, Cenk Tosun and Jean-Philippe Gbamin all still sidelined with problems carried over from last season.

The opener is also likely to come too soon for Fabian Delph, but Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes are fit to feature having recovered from slight injury concerns.

Toffees fans could be treated to all three of their major new signings starting the game, with Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure likely to feature behind Rodriguez.

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Doherty, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies; Hojbjerg, Sissoko; Bergwijn, Alli, Son; Kane

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne; Gomes, Allan, Doucoure; Rodriguez; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison


SM words green background

We say: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Everton

Everton have plenty of quality in their team now and look like a side capable of getting points from these type of matches as the season goes on.

However, at this stage it is difficult to look past the respective home and away records from last season, which both firmly point to a Tottenham win in this match.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:



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Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti pictured on July 9, 2020
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Everton season preview - predictions, fixtures, summer signings, starting XI
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32211669
United StatesUnited States24282173
JapanJapan1961136
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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