Who will Tottenham play in the first game of 2014-15 season on Saturday, 16th August or whenever the television companies decree that the match has to be played?
Not long to wait now – in a little over twenty four hours we’ll have the Premier League fixture list for the 2014-15 season. The first indication that the new football season will soon be upon us is the announcement of the Premier League fixtures. They will be released at 9.00am tomorrow, Wednesday, 18th June.
Who will Tottenham play in that first game of the 2014-15 season or who do you want in the first game of the season?
The fixture computer has decreed that Tottenham should start the past two seasons away from home. Will that trend continue for another season? The last time Spurs played the first game of the season at home was in 2010-11 when the game against Manchester City finished scoreless. They had been scheduled to play Everton in August, 2011 but the Tottenham riots forced the postponement of that game.
Last season’s away game at Crystal Palace to start the season was Spurs first London derby in the opening game since August, 1999 at West Ham.
There are 3 teams in the Premier League next season who Spurs have never played on the opening day of the season – Swansea, Hull and Queen’s Park Rangers.
Home or Away?
I always prefer Spurs to start the season with a home match.
The fixture computer goes to great lengths to produce a balanced and fair sequence of games for every team but since 1991-92, the year before the start of the Premier League, Tottenham have started the season at White Hart Lane on only 7 occasions (6 actually – due to the Tottenham riots) and have been away from home in 16 of the 23 seasons.
Who do I want Spurs to play in the first game?
Last season I drew up a list of criteria to identify the most suitable team.
I thought Spurs should avoid:
- a promoted side – they always start the season with such industry and endeavour (NO to Burnley, Leicester City, QPR)
- a team under a new manager – players always try that bit harder to prove themselves to the new man in charge (NO to Manchester United, Southampton, West Bromwich Albion)
- a top-4 team – want to make sure the team is properly organised before facing a top team (NO to Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal)
- a team with a former manager or former player in charge – they always feel they have a point to prove (NO to QPR, Sunderland)
- a team containing past players – they always want to show what they can do (NO to Everton, Swansea, Stoke, Hull City, Manchester United)
- a London derby – these games are always high pressured and create extra expectations (NO to Arsenal, Chelsea, QPR, West Ham United, Crystal Palace)
When all of those teams are removed from the equation, Spurs are left with 2 possible opponents for the opening game:
Aston Villa and Newcastle
Who do I expect Tottenham to play?
The fixture computer always seems to throw up an interesting ‘Would you believe it?’ game so I wouldn’t be surprised to find Mauricio Pochettino being in charge of his first game for Tottenham at his former club, Southampton!
Along similar lines, what are the chances of Harry Redknapp arriving at White Hart Lane with QPR determined to prove a point and cause an upset in Pochettino’s first match as Spurs manager.
Who Will Tottenham Play in First Game of 2014-15 Season?
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