Tottenham Hotspur locked in a glamour fixture to end their 2017-18 preseason. Spurs will host Italian giants and the 2016-17 Champions League runners-up at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 5th, just one week before they travel to St. James’ Park to open up their 2017-18 campaign.
The match-up is sexy and is an encounter that the team should be salivating for. One can argue that this is the first season that the club have real expectations. The 2015-16 season was a surprise for even the most ardent of Spurs supporters and while it was widely considered that Spurs would remain formidable in 2016-17, it was presumed that they’d likely take a step back. A run at another Champions League spot was a possibility, but a second place finish and remaining relevant in the title race till May was far-fetched and unrealistic.
This year Tottenham will be viewed as one of the great young teams in Europe and a bona fide title contender in the Premier League. For these reasons, it will be interesting to see how Spurs fare against Juventus.
Unlike earlier preseason fixtures, both sides will trot out lineups that should closely resemble their starting elevens on opening day and those starting elevens are likely to get a full first half of burn at least. Its a fantastic opportunity to see how Spurs perform against the European elite. This is what Mauricio Pochettino had to say about the game:
“This match will form an important part of our preparations, particularly with the Premier League season starting just a week later. We met Juventus in Australia during pre-season last year and it was a highly competitive game, very useful for us, and we expect a similar game this year at Wembley.”
What will be interesting to watch, besides the sheer quality of the opposition — think Dybala, Higuain, Pjanic, Buffon, Chiellini, Mandzukic — is how Spurs will fare at Wembley. If Spurs want to nip the dumb narrative that they can’t win at the National Stadium in the bud, then a strong performance against Juve will be a step forward in the right direction. Either way, its a highly entertaining way to usher out Tottenham’s 2017-18 preseason.