Hard to believe it, but the start of the 2020-21 Premier League season is just a few weeks away. In fact, if this were a normal season we would’ve just completed match week 1 this past weekend and everyone would be complaining about Jose Mourinho’s tactics again.
But these are not normal times. The new season is scheduled to begin the weekend of September 12, meaning Tottenham Hotspur and other Premier League clubs need to start thinking about preseason preparations and friendlies to regain match fitness before the new season. Normally Spurs would head off on some far-flung location like Asia or the United States for a preseason tour and participation in the International Champions Cup, but due to COVID they are staying home. Thanks to Twitter account @Lilywhite_Rose, we think we also now know what their preseason friendly schedule will look like: matches against Ipswich Town, Reading, and Birmingham City.
Obviously this is conjecture as nothing has been formally released by the club, so these matches could change pending... well, events. Considering that fans almost certainly won’t be attending any of these matches, that makes sense and we may not get an announcement that they’re even happening. Certainly Spurs played a bunch of un-announced behind closed doors friendlies at Hotspur Way while Mauricio Pochettino is in charge, but we don’t know how Mourinho will handle these kinds of matches.
Ipswich Town is the lowest-placed of Spurs’ reported three friendly opponents, as they finished 11th in the shortened League One last season. Birmingham City and Reading are both Championship clubs and finished 20th and 14th respectively. Ultimately, like in any preseason friendly, placement and past performances don’t really matter as these will be opportunities for fitness and to try out various players in competitive situations for evaluative purposes.
Based on the tweet, we can assume that all three will take place at Tottenham, though whether they’re at the new stadium or at Spurs’ training center remains to be seen.
Update: Since this article was posted, commenters alerted me to an email that went out to OneHotspur members and a post on Spurs’ website about membership renewal. If you are a OneHotspur member or renew before August 17, you will be able to stream Spurs’ preseason friendlies online for free. This benefit apparently is only for members in the UK, Ireland, South Korea, and Australia.