Tottenham Hotspur will get their 2019-20 Premier League season underway at home against Aston Villa, today at 18:30 (CET).
European vice-champions, Spurs will be looking to make a positive statement in their Premier League opener, as they host newcomers Aston Villa to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side is heading with high hopes into the new campaign and the intention to challenge Manchester City for the most prestigious title in England.
Aston Villa, on the other hand, returns to top-tier English football after spending three years in the Championship.
The Villans qualified through the playoffs, winning the sport’s richest game against Derby County – the Championship playoff Final – worth staggering £170 million and spent the most of the money on new signing this summer.
Tottenham Hotspur’s new midfielders, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso are both in contention, as the Frenchman is expected to have a place in the starting line up alongside Harry Winks and Christian Eriksen.
Son Heung-min will miss the game, serving a suspension, while full-backs Ryan Sessegnon, Ben Davies, and Josh Foyth all out through injuries.
Defender James Chester is the only Aston Villa player who is not able to travel to the English capital with the squad.
The newcomers signed 12 players this summer, and surely not all of them will have the chance to make their debut for the club in the Premier League opener.
What did the managers say
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino says he is happy with his squad, as the Champions League runners-up head into the 2019-20 campaign.
“I’m a happy man, always optimistic. I told you from the beginning of pre-season that I was happy with the squad and the way we were playing,” he said via Tottenham’s official website.
“The ambition is always to win and after almost tasting the glory and unbelievable nights in the Champions League, the aim is to try to win a trophy.
“Of course, it’s going to be tough. Every team has tried to improve and aims for the same as us and that’s why it’s another season with the same expectations – try to win every single game and at the end of the season, have the possibility to compete for big things.”
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 9, 2019
Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith says his ambition is not just to survive in the Premier League, but he wants to win every game, regardless of the opponents.
“My ambition is not to just stay up. It’s not a positive message to give out, to just survive,” he said at the pre-game press conference.
“We go to win every game, whether it’s Spurs, Chelsea or Manchester United away. That’s my mentality. The players have bought into that.
“I’ve been really impressed with Mauricio Pochettino and what he’s done in the Premier League. They’ve improved each year and have now really started dipping into the market. It’s a real big challenge for us this first game. But we don’t fear it, we go to try and win.”
Tottenham Hotspur have won nine of the previous ten encounters against Aston Villa, with their only defeat coming in April 2015.
Villa, however, noted a victory in each of their five pre-season games, netting 16 goals in the process. (an average of 3.2 goals per game)
Spurs have lost only one Premier League game at their new stadium, losing 1-0 to West Ham United last April.
The most recent meeting between both sides came in the FA Cup round of 32 back in January 2017, with Tottenham noting a 2-0 victory through goals from Ben Davies and Son Heung-min.