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OPPOSITION IN FOCUS: TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

28 June 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Dale Stephens in action against Tottenham Hotspur at the Amex Stadium last season.

Our rundown of Brighton & Hove Albion’s Premier League opposition for the 2018/19 campaign continues with Tottenham Hotspur 

League Position 2017/18: 3rd 

Top league goalscorer: Harry Kane (30) 

How did they do last season? 

Tottenham's home campaign took place at Wembley Stadium after the club left White Hart Lane at the end of the 2016/17 season, and they turned their new surroundings into a happy hunting ground in the league – sealing 13 wins and losing just twice on home soil throughout the year.

Six wins from their opening nine matches was then followed by unbeaten run that stretched from December to April, and they lost just twice in the latter half of a season that ended with a memorable 5-4 victory over Leicester City at Wembley on the final day of the Premier League campaign.

The side also impressed in Europe as they finished top of their group which contained both Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, before a round of 16 defeat to Juventus over two matches saw them eliminated from the competition - their Emirates FA Cup journey ended at the semi-final stage following a 2-1 loss to Manchester United.

Who’s in charge? 

Mauricio Pochettino took charge of the North London side for the fourth season since joining in the summer of 2014, when he became the club’s 10th manager of a 12-year period.

As a player the Argentine had long spells with Newell’s Old Boys in his homeland before spending six years with Espanyol in Spain – a side he would go on to manage for three seasons from 2009 to 2012.

He moved to PSG and Bordeaux in France before ending his career back with Espanyol at the age of 34. His managerial career began with the Spanish side before a season with Southampton in the Premier League during 2013-14 campaign and the subsequent switch to White Hart Lane – he signed a new contract with the club in May in a deal which runs until 2023. 

Who should I keep an eye out for? 

Harry Kane's 30 league goals throughout the 2017-18 season meant he finished as the side’s top scorer – his first of the campaign against Everton in September was his 100th strike for the club, before he notched a Champions League hat-trick against APOEL later that month to get him off the mark in Europe.

 

In December the England international netted another treble in a 3-0 win away to Burnley, and it was a feat that saw him equal Alan Shearer’s record of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year.

Another hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Southampton in Tottenham’s next outing then saw him surpass that record and become the first player in Premier League history to score six hat-tricks in a year. His impressive form continued until the campaign’s end and he was named in the PFA Team of the Year in April for the fourth consecutive season. 

How did we fare against them last season?

The first meeting between the teams came at Wembley Stadium in December, as goals in either half from Serge Aurier and Heung-Min Son meant the hosts took the three points and a 2-0 win.

But Albion picked up what would turn out to be a valuable point against Tottenham in their penultimate home game of the season at the Amex Stadium in April with a 1-1 draw. 

Kane gave the visiting side the lead on the south coast three minutes after half time, before Pascal Gross drew Chris Hughton’s men level shortly afterwards. 

Jose Izquierdo weaved his way into the area and as Davison Sanchez brought the winger down, Gross stepped up to coolly convert the spot-kick past Hugo Lloris and ensure the spoils were shared.


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