Welcome back, football! Tottenham head to Liverpool to take on the blue side of the city in their season opener against Everton. Whereas Spurs are the very model of stability and calm, Everton are going through a period of major upheaval.
After another depressing season of underachievement under Roberto Martinez, they finally let the Spaniard go and managed to poach Dutchman Ronald Koeman from Southampton. That they could somehow convince one of the promising young managers in the Premier League to leave a team with little money but a good academy to a more or less broke team with a non-so-great academy is, well, remarkable.
Everton do have some cash to play around with now after selling John Stones to Manchester City, and it looks like they’re going to spend a good chunk of it on Swansea’s Ashley Williams and Palace’s Yannick Bolasie. The good news is that the deal for Bolasie isn’t done yet, so we won’t see him tomorrow, and Williams isn’t ready to go yet so we won’t see him either. Romelu Lukaku is also a doubt with a heel injury. It’s not a great time to be a Toffee.
Meanwhile, Spurs are all stability and optimism, returning (minus Mousa Dembele) their entire starting lineup from last season, and coming off of a 6-1 preseason blitzing of Inter Milan in Norway. These teams once looked like equals, but they sure don’t seem to now. (That’s setting the stage for a bore 0-0 draw, isn’t it? Sorry.)
Spurs would love to start fast out of the gate with home matches coming up next against Palace and Liverpool. An away win over an ailing Everton would be a nice way to start. COYS!
How to Watch
Date/time: Saturday, August 13, 2016, 3:00 p.m. (UK), 10:00 a.m. ET (USA)
Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool, UK
Official: Martin Atkinson
TV: CNBC (USA), not televised (UK), TSN5 (Canada), Optus Sport (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also often at BBC Radio London, BBC Radio 5 Live, and TalkSport
The good news: everyone’s healthy and nobody picked up an injury in preseason. The bad news: Mousa’s suspended, but we knew that. So for this opening match, the lineup more or less picks itself. With Pochettino strongly hinting that Victor Wanyama comes in to replace Dembele in the lineup, I think this is almost certainly the starting XI we’ll see on Saturday at Goodison Park. It should look familiar, since it’s nearly the same first choice lineup we saw most of last season.
It’s time to start this puppy up again! New season, clean slate. The rules are the same as always: one point for correctly predicting the winner/draw, a bonus point if you nail the exact scoreline. Let’s do it.
Dustin Menno: Everton lost John Stones, might not play Lukaku, and are in the words of their new manager “at 70%.” Spurs make Everton’s midfield run in circles for 90 minutes, and Dele nutmegs Stekelenburg three times before chipping him. Job done. 1-0 Spurs.
Luke Zimmermann: Everton is a disastrous preseason trainwreck. Injuries, uncertainty, self doubt ... All the reasons Spurs will inexplicably bottle a sure three points and fail to leave the bitter taste of last season behind them. 1-1 draw
Ed F.: Everton's squad going into this summer was aging and in dire need of some quality depth to support their handful of talented young key players. Their approach thus far has been to sell John Stones and spunk away all the proceeds on Ashley Williams and Yannick Bolasie. Good luck to them this season, they'll need it. 2-0 Spurs.
Pardeep Cattry: Everton's at 70%, according to Koeman, and if they're ever going to get it right, it won't be on Day 1. Spurs, meanwhile, have had as drama-free a preseason as possible, and with Vertonghen back, should be good to go for a decent opening match. Everton 0-2 Spurs.
Brian Myers: Everton are kind of a disaster to start the season. However we may start the season rather slowly taking the three points on a lucky mistake. 1-0 Spurs.
Jake Meador: Spurs win 2-0 with goals from Kane and Lamela. Aldervertonghen gets home and discovers Lukaku still in their pocket.
Bryan A.: Last year when I said everything would go horribly, everyone scoffed. Well, I was right, wasn't I? 2-0 Everton. (Also, I'm horrible at this game.)
Alex Greenberg: According to Ronny Cow-man, Everton aren't ready. Spurs performance against Inter shows that they clearly are. Lamela lights up Goodison Park as Spurs win 3-1.
Earl of Shoop: With this rather unimaginative entry, I'm starting off this year's prediction league like Everton are starting their season: reaffirming typical low expectations yet somehow still disappointing. Spurs roll 2-0 over the Toffees.
GN_Punk: Kane nabs a brace, Janssen comes on late and gets the third. Hugo plays Pokemon Go in net for half the match and finds himself that elusive Pikachu. 3-0 Spurs.
Salmon Chase: Hello, I'm alive.
In a game that's been billed as no less than Jon Snow vs Bronn of the Blackwater, I must make this point. I argued passionately using 140 characters or less, that Spurs are much more a Brienne of Tarth who clearly takes out Jon "I run at Ramsay because I have emotions" Snow anytime she damn well pleased. Spurs win 3-1. Harry Kane henceforth known as Oathkeeper.
Ben Daniels: Everton weren't good last year and their squad has only gotten worse. Koeman may turn things around, but it won't be in time for Spurs. 3-0 Spurs.
Skipjack: 2-1 Spurs. It would be more but Levy will force them to wear sneakers instead of cleats to save money. FFS.
mpachniuk: 2-1 Spurs. The article is already published, but want to get the prediction in.
Brian Mechanick: Kind of feels like a slow start is inevitable for me, but I think Kane sneaks a late winner. 1-0 Spurs