The London derby will be a good indication of where both sides are headed for the rest of the season. Spurs had a lean transfer window, choosing to look inwards to their youth players and reinforce their squad that took them to a third place finish last season and contains nine World Cup semi-finalists, more than any other club.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 14, 2018
In contrast Fulham signed, either permanently or on loan Callum Chambers, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Alfie Mawson, Andre Schurrle, Jean Michael Seri, Mazime le Marchand, Joe Bryan, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Luciano Vietto, Sergio Rico, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Fabri.
But in their first games Tottenham beat Newcastle away 2-1 while Fulham went down at home to Crystal Palace 2-0.
Jan Vertonghen’s early header put Tottenham ahead, with technology confirming his effort had just crossed the goal line. The hosts equalised 149 seconds later, when newcomer Joselu headed in a Matt Ritchie cross. Dele Alli put the visitors back in front with a trademark back-post run to meet Serge Aurier’s cross and guide a header past home goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 15, 2018
Meanwhile at Craven Cottage, Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt found Jeffrey Schlupp, who smashed home from inside the box. Wilfried Zaha sealed the win 11 minutes from time, coolly finishing after latching on to Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s through ball. Fulham could claim to be hard done by; they had 66.3 per cent possession and mustered 14 shots at goal.
Fulham’s star player is Ryan Sessegnon who stayed put despite just about every big club being after him. Sessegnon excelled in Fulham’s run to the play-off final last season, and set up Tom Cairney to score against Aston Villa at Wembley as the Whites won 1-0 and gained promotion to the Premier League after four seasons in the Championship.
Predicted Line Up: Newcastle v Spurs
How will Spurs perform?
While it may take Fulham time to find their feet in the Premier League, Spurs would be wrong to treat them lightly, with many pundits believing that Fulham will stay up and improve as the season goes on. Striker Son Hueng-Min will also be absent from proceedings, as he is currently representing South Korea in the Asian Games. Poch is confident on the form of his players though, saying in the pre-game press conference that;
For me all are fit. We put in our mind that all are fit, you cannot tell some player ‘you’re not fit’. For me he [Kane] is match ready, all the players are fit to play and start the game, but they need time to be at their best. (Football.London)
With a strong start and the potential of World Cup stars such as Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld yet to take to the pitch this season, Spurs will be keen to put on a good show for their fans at their first home game.