Tottenham vs. Juventus: Wembley Match Day Preview

NASHVILLE, TN - JULY 29: Fernandinho
NASHVILLE, TN - JULY 29: Fernandinho /

More stock is placed on Tottenham’s last friendly against Juventus at Wembley on Saturday, as Mauricio Pochettino’s men get to test their early-season European pedigree against the 2016-17 Champions League finalists. 

The final warmup match will also offer a glimpse of how Tottenham intend on erasing some foul Wembley memories from last season. The match, in the grand scheme of things, is still relatively meaningless, though.

Pochettino and Spurs fans will expect a performance far removed from a dismal outing against Manchester City in Nashville last time out. The gaffer can also use Saturday’s match as a good measuring stick. If both teams field their near-strongest 11 – a probable outcome – Pochettino can evaluate how Tottenham compare, at this early stage, to one of Europe’s best on the vast Wembley pitch.

Pochettino’s men need to adapt quickly to Wembley’s wide and long playing surface, something they were unable to do last season. Their were, however, extenuating circumstances – injuries, uncharacteristic mistakes – that led to a number of poor results at the national stadium last season.

Spurs’ Wembley teething problems are hopefully well and truly behind them, as Chelsea, in Tottenham’s fist home game of the season, come calling in a fortnight. The team, after winning two of 10 Wembley matches last season, must be tired of hearing about their past difficulties at their temporary home.

But there’s only one way to silence their critics.

Quashing the skeptics’ negative rhetoric can start on Saturday with a strong Spurs’ performance. It’s Juventus’ first ever match at Wembley and Massimiliano Allegri is expected to start many of his best players, including Douglas Costa, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Giorgio Chiellini.

Chiellini is getting used to life without Leonardo Bonucci, who – up until yesterday afternoon – was expected to end up playing at the San Siro with AC Milan. The Sun reports that transfer may fall through at the last minute. Regardless, he isn’t expected to return to Juve.

Pochettino will start a full-strength starting team. Son Heung-Min returned to training this week but definitely won’t be available for the friendly. Victor Wanyama will also miss out due to injury, so Harry Winks should retain his spot in the team. Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane and Dele Alli are all expected to get the nod.

Next: Tottenham opposition scouting report: Juventus

Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, if the manager starts with a 3-4-2-1 formation, will line up across the back. Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier will patrol the wings.

Spurs must dismiss any media pressure on their return to Wembley and play with the kind of poise and freedom they do at White Hart Lane. It’s the only way to make their temporary dwelling feel like home while getting the media monkey off their collective back.

When is Tottenham vs Juventus?

Spurs play Juventus at 5.30pm on Saturday, August 5.

What TV channel is the match on?

The match is shown live on Premier Sports.