Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea fans share predictions on eagerly awaited London derby
Tottenham Hotspur host Chelsea in the first Premier League game at Wembley as their season-long tenancy at the national stadium gets underway on Sunday.
London: Tottenham Hotspur host Chelsea in the first Premier League game at Wembley as their season-long tenancy at the national stadium gets underway on Sunday.
With Chelsea's injuries and suspensions mounting after a shock 3-2 defeat at home to Burnley in their league opener last weekend in which they finished with nine men, the pressure is mounting on Italian manager Antonio Conte.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, whose team were runners-up to Chelsea last season, enjoyed a 2-0 win at Newcastle United in their first game but the Argentine has yet to spend any money in the transfer window and his side have a poor record at Wembley.
Here is what the fans have to say about their respective clubs:
Martin Buhagiar, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust
"I’m excited ahead of the game against Chelsea this weekend. It was a slow start on Sunday but we clicked into gear and were worthy winners against Newcastle.
"I think the team will be up for this match for a number of reasons. They (Chelsea) won the league ahead of us and knocked us out of the FA Cup so we'll be looking for revenge. We outplayed them at White Hart Lane and deserved to beat them in the (FA Cup) semi-final, so we'll be looking for more of the same.
"I'm going for a 3-1 win to Spurs. It goes without saying that I think it will be competitive so I’m not banking on a comfortable 3-1 result. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Chelsea score first and early, but I think we'll be too strong. Once we score, their current fragile confidence could be their undoing.
"Personally, I am not concerned by our lack of business in the transfer window. I believe our first team is very strong. I know a lot of Spurs fans are concerned - and I can understand that. But I have no doubt the club will invest in new personnel before the window closes. Chelsea have shown that signing two or three players before the season kicks off is no guarantee of early success on the field.
"I don’t buy into this ‘Spurs can’t play at Wembley’ idea. We showed in a (2-0 win in a) pre-season friendly against Juventus that we can. I’m quietly optimistic and glad everyone is writing us off because we’re playing at Wembley – it means there’s less pressure. We’ve won a cup final against Chelsea at the new Wembley (2008 League Cup), plus half of the England team in the Spurs squad play there regularly. I think we’ll be fine.
David Chidgey, Chelsea Supporters Trust
"After the defeat to Burnley and the injuries; suspensions; lack of squad depth, not to mention all the other hysteria going on, then let’s just say I'm not as confident (about this game) as I usually am.
"I am going to sit on the fence and say we’ll get a scrappy draw 1-1 or 2-2. Mind you, knowing Chelsea, anything could happen – we are as likely to win 3-0 as we are to lose 3-0. It would be typical Chelsea to come back and win when no one expects us to while surrounded by chaos.
"We have a superb record at Wembley and we have often sung about it being our second home. We have no qualms about playing there at all.
"Apart from that, with the possibility that Chelsea may use Wembley as a temporary stadium when Stamford Bridge is being re-developed, it will be interesting to see how it plays out as a Premier League venue and how both Spurs and the away fans adapt to it.
"You don’t need to be a genius to work out that we not only needed to replace the players we have lost over the last season but to add quality and experience to be able to compete on all fronts, especially in Europe, this season.
"Thus far, although we have made good signings in Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Alvaro Morata, there is a general feeling that we need more players, not just one in and one out.
"The situation around Diego Costa leaves the club in a bit of a pickle, doesn’t it. The club and manager don’t want him and he doesn’t want to be at the club.
"There is no way Conte will want him to come back to the squad in spite of what the club have said – he clearly thinks he is a rotten apple who has a detrimental effect on the team.
"It's a shame since Costa is a great striker and has been good, on the whole, for us but no player is bigger than the team or the club and you're either with us or against us."
Townsend, 30, was a free agent after his contract with Crystal Palace expired at the end of last season.
The Norwegian, who took over from Jose Mourinho in 2018, will stay at Old Trafford until at least 2024, with the option of an extra year.
No fee has been disclosed but British media reported value the deal at £34 million ($47 million) rising to £48 million with add-ons.