The presence of Champions League-winning managers Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti adds extra glamour to this weekend’s Premier League clash at White Hart Lane, as Tottenham Hotspur host Everton. But what lies ahead for both teams this season?
With an Amazon Prime documentary now under Mourinho and Tottenham’s belt, fans of the north London club will be hoping for the return of Champions League football – and the optimistic ones will be hoping for the return of trophies. Much like his opposite number, Mourinho’s new era officially starts this weekend, in the first fixture of his debut full season at Spurs.
Since the Premier League’s restart in June, Tottenham have beaten Arsenal, Leicester City, West Ham United, Newcastle and Everton, only losing to Sheffield United. For once, the Premier League season isn’t starting in August, either, so Harry Kane has no excuses for not finding the net here.
Ultimately, everything is set up for Mourinho to do well at Spurs, with nothing really to blame but his own failings should he achieve nothing more than mediocrity. That is firmly the case this weekend, with Tottenham heavy betting favourites to overcome Everton in their own backyard – even if it’s not in front of their home crowd.
While Everton fans were head over heels when Premier League and Champions League-winning manager Ancelotti was appointed at Goodison Park, now the Italian needs to deliver to back that reputation up. Lacklustre spells at Bayern Munich and Napoli seemed to suggest the tactician is past his best, ironically finding himself in a similar situation to Mourinho at the time.
What’s more, for all the fanfare, Everton won just two of their last six games last season, as they succumbed to another poor Premier League showing. Now, Everton have more to play for at the start of a fresh campaign – and it’s up to their star manager to deliver.
Having spent considerably over the summer, it’ll be interesting to see if Everton’s owners apply pressure on Ancelotti to achieve European football, or at the very least a strong top-half showing. A result at White Hart Lane would go a long way towards building momentum.
Tottenham boast a relatively clean bill of health, only missing long-term absentee Harry Winks.
Everton have only this week completed the signings of Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez, Napoli’s Allan and Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, so their involvement remains a question mark. Elsewhere, injuries to Andre Gomes and Mason Holgate in the last week could rule them out, though Yerri Mina provides a fitness boost.
When Everton have been at their best under Ancelotti, it’s when they’ve been tight at the back and played a counterattacking game. The exact same can also be said of any Mourinho team since his managerial career began. So expect a low-scoring encounter, even if Spurs end up proving why they are bookies’ favourites.
With both these managers adopting tighter, more defensive strategies, there’s every chance of a low-scoring game playing out in north London. When the two teams met in July, Tottenham eked out a 1-0 win and are 7/1 with Bet365 to win by the same scoreline again here.
Those who fancy Everton to come to life in their first full season under Carlo Ancelotti can find good value in the draw at 13/5 with Bet365. This is especially considering there was only one goal in it last time out – and Everton have strengthened since, with a full pre-season under Ancelotti’s belt.