Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti begin their first full seasons in charge of Tottenham and Everton when their sides meet on Sunday’s Premier League fixture. A six-game unbeaten run saw Tottenham snatch a Europa League spot in sixth, while Everton finished 12th after one win in their last six games.
Tottenham ended the last season strongly, winning four of their last six games and drawing the other two in an unbeaten run. A point from a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace in the final game was enough to qualify for the UEFA Europa League. Spurs won their first three pre-season friendlies as they defeated Ipswich (3-0), Reading (4-1) and Birmingham (1-0) but lost to Watford (2-1) in their final preparation game. Tottenham have signed full-back Matt Doherty from Wolves, Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and brought in goalkeeper Joe Hart on a free transfer. Jan Vertonghen and Michel Vorm have both left at the end their contracts, while Kyle Walker Peters has made a permanent switch to Southampton. Troy Parrott and Oliver Skipp have been loaned out for the season to Millwall and Norwich.
Everton lost their way towards the end of the season as the won just one of the last six games. That win came against Sheffield United, but there were defeats to Tottenham, Wolves and relegated Bournemouth as well as draws at home Southampton and Aston Villa. In two pre-season friendlies, Everton drew 3-3 with Blackpool before recording a 2-0 win over Preston. Ancelotti’s overhaul of the Everton squad as seen him link up again with Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez as well as sign Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan from Watford and Napoli respectively. Niels Nkounkou has also joined from Marseille. The departures from Goodison have included the retiring Leighton Baines, Maarten Stekelenburg, Morgan Schneiderlin, Cuco Martina and Oumar Niasse. Fabian Delph, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Mason Holgate and Cenk Tosun are all ruled out of the season opener.
Tottenham have gone more than eight years without losing to Everton. That run can continue with Spurs making a winning start to the season.
PREDICTION : TOTTENHAM 2-1 WIN
ACCUMULATOR TIP : OVER 1.5 FT GOALS
SINGLE TIP : BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE