After a somewhat mixed tour of the USA which saw a win over PSG but also defeats to both AS Roma and Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur return “home” this evening for their final pre-season friendly of the summer and it is Italian giants Juventus who will provide the opposition at Wembley.
A Wembley that is likely to be one third full at best as the majority of Tottnenham’s fanbase have baulked at the fact that some tickets going for north of £90 which although not prices set by the club is still a ludicrous amount of money for a pre-season friendly.
Anyway ticket prices notwithstanding another reason why Spurs fans may be sitting this one out is the fact that there are no new faces to see and that has somewhat dampened the enthusiasm going into this upcoming campaign, the fact that Mauricio Pochettino is the only manager not to have signed any one in this transfer window is somewhat alarming.
The lack of transfers six weeks ago was not an issue as obviously there was still a lot of time on Tottenham’s side but with each day that passes not only to the start of the Premier League campaign but also to the end of the month there is a level of apprehension circling the club.
Apprehension that will subside slightly should Tottenham get off to winning ways next week away at Newcastle but even so the lack of new arrivals is arguably going to put undue pressure on the squad as they look to continue the momentum of the last two seasons.
In regards to team news it is pretty much as you where for Mauricio Pochettino apart from the one obvious departure that is Kyle Walker. He already has gone face to face with his former team-mates as this season’s Premier League favourites ran out comfortable 3-0 winners in Nashville.
The level of ease that City won that game will have been a cause of concern for the backroom staff as they were made to look very ordinary and the performance was not befitting that of a team that finished runners up in the league just three months ago.
But then again just how much can you really take from pre-season friendlies, they do have a habit of flattering to deceive with the real acid test coming when the real football (for use of a better term) begins next weekend, therefore with that mind whatever the result against Juventus later this evening it’s not that big of a deal.
That said Juventus are taking this one very seriously as they have bought with them a full strength squad to London, a squad that includes the loan signing of Douglas Costa from Bayern Munich and also the capture of Wojciech Szczesny from Arsenal.
The Polish goalkeeper is the heir apparent to the evergreen Gianluigui Buffon who without doing him a disservice did finally look as if father time was finally catching up during Juventus’ 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid in Cardiff back in early June.
Juventus are also two defenders lighter from that side that was well beaten in Wales as both Leonardo Bonucci and Dani Alves have since moved on. Reports say that the two were believed to have had a row at half time of that defeat and at that point coach Massimo Allegri told them they no longer have a future at the club.
Alves was being hotly chased by Manchester City but instead chose to go to PSG instead while Bonucci made the somewhat surprise move to A.C. Milan, the San Siro outfit have spent big this summer and are hotly tipped to run Juventus close in the race for the Italian title.
With the talent on display later on it should make for an interesting encounter at least for the first 45 minutes before the raft of substitutions are made. It might not be competitive football as such but will still be worth spending your time to watch it. If Tottenham do however lose I’m giving Twitter a wide berth