Aston Villa-Tottenham Hotspur Preview
There's no doubt Tottenham Hotspur are one of the most talented clubs in the Premier League, but the question again begs whether they are strong enough to seriously challenge for the title.
The quest to get that answer begins Saturday when Spurs welcome visiting Aston Villa back to the Premier League.
Tottenham again boosts some of the biggest names in world Football. Hugo Lloris in net, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Walker-Peters on the back-end. Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and newcomer Tanguy Ndombele (from Lyon) in the midfield and, of course, Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min up front.
But is that enough to break up Manchester City and Liverpool's expected fight for the top-flight crown? Or even better Chelsea, who finished one point better than fourth-place Spurs, and fifth-place rival Arsenal last season.
Tottenham reached the final of the Champions League over the summer, so they proved capable of making a championship-like run. However, their supporters would like to see the same play out on the domestic front.
The players feel the same after top-four finishes each of the last four seasons in the Premier League.
"We've had years where we've been so close and now it's time to get over the line and start winning things," Alli told Spurs' official website.
It would help if Kane can stay healthy after an ankle injury cut into his season in 2018-19. Still, Kane finished with 17 league goals, but ended his run of four straight seasons with at least 20.
Son, meanwhile, scored 12 times during top-flight play. It was the third season in a row he scored at least that many in the Premier League.
It would seem both Kane and Son could find the scoresheet at some point Saturday considering Spurs have outscored Villa 31-6 during a 12-1-1 stretch over all competitions. Though these clubs squared off in the FA Cup back in 2017, their last Premier League tangle came during the 2015-16 season.
That was the last time Aston Villa played in the top flight of English Football, and the Villans have done all they can to make sure it's not a one-and-done season in 2019-20.
According to NBC Sports, Villa signed 12 new players on a total transfer fee of more than $160 million. Among the more prominent names include former Burnley keeper Tom Heaton, Brazilian forward Wesley up front and Egypt's Mahmoud Trezeguet in the midfield.
"We knew what he had to do as a football club," manager Dean Smith told Villa's official website. "I'm very happy with our business. My ambition is not to just stay up. It's not a positive message to give out, to just survive. We go to win every game, whether it's Spurs, Chelsea or Manchester United ... That's my mentality. The players have bought into that.
"There's probably more trepidation than in the Championship, because of the scale of the teams in (the Premier League). But, there's excitement for a huge challenge."
Villa did lose talented loanee forward Tammy Abraham, who scored 26 goals in the Championship last season, back to Chelsea.
Updated August 8, 2019