ENGLAND: Premier League
Time: 4:30 PM
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (London)
It’s an unforgiving first Premier League (PL) game in charge of Tottenham Hotspur for new manager Nuno Espírito Santo as he welcomes 2020/21 champions Manchester City. Although Spurs have already suffered two competitive defeats ‘to nil’ at the hands of City in 2021, Espírito Santo can take comfort in that his new side are undefeated in each of their three previous top-flight opening day fixtures against City (W1, D2).
Should Spurs get the win, Espírito Santo will be the club’s fifth consecutive manager to win his first PL game in charge. However there’s been 20 different PL managers who have faced reigning champions in their first game, and only one was victorious, highlighting the magnitude of the task ahead for the Portuguese coach.
After acquiring talents such as Jack Grealish and with a legitimate interest in Spurs’ Harry Kane, Manchester City look remarkably set to be even stronger this season than they were last. Even so, this fixture is rarely a walk in the park for the ‘Cityzens’, as they’ve lost their last three competitive away games against Tottenham, failing to score on each occasion. Another defeat here would hand Guardiola his first-ever sequence of four consecutive competitive away losses to one opponent.
City’s recent Gameweek 1 history should give them confidence that this can be avoided as they’ve come out victorious in each of their previous ten PL openers – that’s the joint-longest such run in top-flight history.
Players to watch: Son Heung-min has scored in all three of his Spurs appearances against Man City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – two of which arrived after the 70th minute. City newbie Jack Grealish scored his first of six PL goals last season in his first away game of the campaign which also happened to be in London (Fulham, 3-0)..
- Tottenham’s form in last 5 matches: WDWWD.
- Manchester City’s form in last 5 matches: LWWWL.