The anticipation at Tottenham is palpable. For the first time in a long time, it has been a busy summer in north London: midfielders Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele have arrived from Real Betis and Lyon respectively, while youngster Ryan Sessegnon has made the switch from Fulham for £24m.
There is, then, plenty of expectation from supporters. Spurs begin their campaign today against newly promoted Aston Villa, hoping to get off to a quick start and avoid losing any early ground at the top. But, despite their new acquisitions, Tottenham will have a couple of notable absentees this evening. Dele Alli is injured and Heung-min Son, so influential last season, is suspended.
Villa, meanwhile, may be feeling quietly confident ahead of their season opener. After winning the Championship play-off final against Derby, they have invested significantly in their squad. Eleven players – amongst them record signing Wesley Moraes and Egyptian winger Trézéguet – have been brought in. But the focus will be on key man Jack Grealish, an integral part of Dean Smith’s team.
Spurs are the strong favourites for this one, but Villa, newly promoted and determined to make their mark in the top flight, are something of an unknown quantity.