Tottenham Hotspur host Manchester City on Sunday in the standout fixture of the opening weekend of the 2021-22 Premier League season.
City head to the capital hoping to make a strong start to the defence of their Premier League title. New £100 million signing Jack Grealish will be within their ranks, as Pep Guardiola’s side will seek to negotiate what has become a tricky fixture for his team in recent years.
For Spurs, it’s been a summer of flux and there is potentially more to come. They’ve got a new manager in Nuno Espirito Santo, new players in Bryan Gil, Pierluigi Gollini and Cristian Romero, while star forward Harry Kane continues to be linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium.
Here’s a look at how the hosts are likely to line up on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
In Gil, Romero and Gollini, Tottenham have made some exciting acquisitions who should plug gaps in the squad from last season.
Santo will also have his own ideas on how he wants the team to set up this term. While he almost always set Wolverhampton Wanderers up with a three-man defence in his previous job, in pre-season Spurs have been using a four-man back line.
Whether that will change with City coming to town on Sunday remains to be seen. Tottenham are maybe a centre-back short of being able to use that system at the moment; Toby Alderweireld left the club this summer, with Erik Lamela another first-team departure.
Who is missing?
Well, Kane isn’t anymore.
After it was reported the England captain didn’t turn up to Tottenham training last week, he has been back at the club in the build-up to this game.
According to Santo, the two have held talks and Kane could be involved on Sunday. That is despite the continued speculation linking him with what would be a humongous British-record transfer to City this summer.
Away from Kane, Romero is unlikely to be involved. He was part of the Argentina squad that won the Copa America and has done minimal training with his teammates after a cluttered summer. Tanguy Ndombele will also not be involved, with Santo yet to include him in the first-team squad.
Who will play?
All signs point to 4-2-3-1 for Spurs based on pre-season outings and available personnel, although that could all be ripped up given City pose unique challenges when compared to all other Premier League sides.
Predicted XI (4-2-3-1); Hugo Lloris; Japhet Tanganga, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez, Sergio Reguilon; Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp; Lucas Moura, Dele Alli, Steven Bergwijn; Son Heung-min
Tottenham’s predicted XI for Man City clash.