Tottenham vs. Everton. A real blockbuster of a game to open the Premier League weekend. Oddly not chosen to be televised, the match kicks off at 3pm on Saturday. The two former successful Southampton managers meet, and both will be desperate for a positive start to their campaigns. Tottenham must bounce back from last seasons disappointment whilst a new-look Everton need to make vast improvements this season and a result against Tottenham would be a great start. Who will win? We think the match outcome will hinder on the battle between these three.
1 – Ross Barkley vs. Eric Dier
One player who featured regularly for England this summer up against one who never got a lot in. This season it is really important that Barkley kicks on with his development. Koeman is likely to trust in the young English midfielder but he needs develop more consistency and add more to his game to really be considered a top player. This weekend he comes up against Dier, a player who has reinvented himself in a holding role and not just secured his spot for his club but for his country too. The addition of Victor Wanyama puts pressure on Dier to continue improving though and he can start by shutting out one of the most talented young midfielders in the division in Barkley. Both players lack mobility to it’ll be an interesting match up as I expect Dier to stay in close proximity to Barkley throughout. Barkley could ‘take one for the team’ and use Dier’s close marking tactics to Everton’s advantage. If Barkley shifts Dier out of his holding role it may allow more room for the likes of Kevin Mirallas, Gerard Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku to cause problems to a Tottenham defence that rarely opens up (apart from the last day of last season).