Tottenham Hotspur will welcome Southampton on Saturday afternoon to North London to get their 2022–23 Premier League season off to the best possible start.
In contrast to Southampton, who placed 15th and were only five points above the relegation zone, fourth-placed Spurs are gearing up for a return to the Champions League.
Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton Match Preview
With Antonio Conte’s team managing to secure a spot in the group stage of the Champions League this season, Tottenham managed to win four of their final five Premier League games of the 2021–22 season to claim fourth position in the table ahead of Arsenal, ultimately finishing two points clear of the Gunners in fifth.
Spurs trailed third-place Chelsea by just three points, and the North London club will aim to contend for a high spot this year. They may consider themselves to be the best of the rest behind Manchester City and Liverpool, who may once again contend for the crown.
Tottenham have not played many games this summer, only four friendlies in total, with their final preseason match last weekend ending in a 1-0 loss to Roma.
Contrary to popular belief, Conte’s team has been active in the transfer market, signing players like Richarlison, Yves Bissouma, Djed Spence, Ivan Perisic, and Fraser Forster. Clement Lenglet has also joined the team on loan from Barcelona.
With 40 points from 19 games, Tottenham had the fourth-best home record in the Premier League last season. They’ll be hoping to get off to the best possible start in 2022-23, especially since their next game is a London derby against Chelsea on August 14.
Southampton, on the other hand, finished 15th in the Premier League standings last season, which was also their position in 2020–21. The Saints were 11th in 2019–20, but since a strong 2016–17 campaign in which they claimed eighth, they have finished 17th, 16th, 15th, and 15th in four of their campaigns.
The club’s supporters will be hoping for progress this season after Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team only won nine of their 38 league games and finished only five points above the drop zone.
The lone victory Southampton has had this summer comes against Monaco on July 27. Southampton, who lost their final four league games of the previous season, will enter this encounter after losing to Villarreal 2-1 at home the previous weekend.
Gavin Bazunu, Sekou Mara, Romeo Lavia, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Joe Aribo, and Mateusz Lis were among the players the Saints signed during the summer transfer window. Forster and Shane Long, however, left the team on free transfers.
With Hasenhuttl’s team facing Leeds United, Leicester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea in their first five games of the season, there is a risk that they could be in a poor spot in the standings by the beginning of September.
Richarlison, a recent addition to Tottenham, will be unavailable on Saturday owing to a ban, while Oliver Skipp will definitely be unable to play due to a foot fracture.
New Signing, Bissouma, who still has a chance of making the team, Conte insisted during his news conference that he would not take any chances with the midfielder.
Conte must make selections in a number of areas, but the team will probably look a lot like the one that finished last year, with a front three of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, and Dejan Kulusevski.
Given that Perisic is still not entirely healthy, Ryan Sessegnon might start on the left, while Ben Davies is well enough to play at center back despite doubts about his availability.
Nathan Tella and Theo Walcott will not be playing for Southampton in the encounter at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl announced during the pre-game news conference.
As a result of Tino Livramento’s extended absence, the Saints will be down three players on Saturday. Despite recent rumors regarding his future, Che Adams might start in the attacking role, with recent acquisition Mara perhaps starting on the bench.
However, another debutant in the form of Aribo, who joined from Rangers this summer, might get the nod instead of Bazunu.
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Romero, Dier, Davies; Doherty, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Sessegnon; Kulusevski, Kane, Son
Southampton possible starting lineup:
Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Salisu, Bednarek, Perraud; S Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Elyounoussi; Aribo; Adams
Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton Prediction
We are finding it very difficult to forecast anything other than a loss for Southampton in this challenging opener. We can only predict a convincing home victory in this matchup because Tottenham was strong toward the close of the previous season and appears to be in good position for the 2022–23 campaign.
Hence, Tottenham Hotspur will defeat Southampton by a score of 3 goals to 1.