Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Ronald Koeman hoping for a winning start to his reign as Blues boss

The Toffees will be hoping for a much-improved campaign under the former Southampton boss, while Spurs make the journey to Merseyside having finished last season on a negative note.

Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Ronald Koeman hoping for a winning start to his reign as Blues boss
Everton take on Tottenham on Saturday 13 August at 15:00 (BST) at Goodison Park. (Image: VAVEL)

Everton host Tottenham Hotspur in their opening Premier League fixture on Saturday as the Toffees hope for a much-improved campaign under Ronald Koeman.

Tottenham make the journey to Merseyside having finished last season on a negative note and Mauricio Pochettino will be keen to ensure that they do not suffer a hangover from losing second place to Arsenal in May.

Head-to-head

Saturday's fixture represents the 172nd time that the two clubs have played each other since 1904 with Spurs winning 63 times in comparison to 55 wins for Everton. Rather surprisingly, the Toffees have gone seven games without a win against Tottenham, with their last win coming in December 2012.

The last four games between the sides have produced a total of six goals, which were all scored in the first-half. Both of last season's games ended in low-scoring stalemates, with the most recent clash finishing 1-1 at Goodison Park.

Tottenham's Harry Kane in action when the two sides met last season as John Stones and Phil Jagielka watch on. | Photo: Getty Images
Tottenham's Harry Kane in action when the two sides met last season as John Stones and Phil Jagielka watch on. | Photo: Getty Images

Blues hoping for a much-improved campaign under Koeman

Following a disappointing 2015/16 season which resulted in Roberto Martinez being sacked, Everton are looking forward to the start of a new era with a new manger and new investment. Only time will tell whether Koeman can lead the club into a golden era, but he will be hoping to begin his reign as Everton boss with a win.

Everton supporters certainly didn't have much to cheer about last season, particularly at Goodison Park. The Toffees' miserable home form last season was arguably the most alarming aspect of their hugely disappointing campaign. Roberto Martinez's side won just 23 points on home soil last season, the Blues worst record at Goodison Park in the club's 138-year history. Koeman will most certainly be hoping to change that and give the supporters something to cheer about starting with their opening game against Tottenham.

There is a real hope around Goodison ahead of what could turn out to be an exciting season for the blue half of Liverpool. However, Koeman has admitted that his new side is still lacking full match fitness, while his squad rebuilding remains far from complete. The club are reportedly in the middle of pursuing more transfers as Koeman continues to rebuild his squad, but for now goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg has joined from Fulham, defensive midfielder Idrissa Gueye signed from Aston Villa last week and this week Swansea City captain Ashley Williams moved to Merseyside.

Everton have been handed a relatively tame start to the season and Koeman will be expecting his team to feature in the top-six come the start of October, but that could depend on the result of their opening game against Tottenham and it is imperative that they come out of it with at least a point.

Spurs hoping to hit the ground running

Last season, Tottenham enjoyed their best season in the top-flight for 26 years, but they finished their 2015/16 campaign in disappointing fashion as they conceded second place to rivals Arsenal on the last day of the season. Spurs will be hoping for better this year as they prepare for life in the Champions League and there is no better way to start a season with a victory, especially at Goodison Park.

Having said that, Spurs are often slow starters - having lost nine times on the opening weekend of a Premier League season (a total matched only by West Ham United - last season they once again started slowly and did not record a win until their fifth league game. A trip to Everton is not the ideal start to a season but Pochettino will see it as a chance to hit the ground running and show that they can build on their exploits from last year.

Tottenham travel to Merseyside having recorded one of the best away records in the top-flight last season. Only champions Leicester City bettered Spurs' achievements on their travels and, but for a 5-1 defeat on the final day to relegated Newcastle United, no side would have matched their imperious defensive record on the road.

Pochettino's side begin their Premier League season on the back of a 6-1 win over Serie A side Inter Milan and, if they show a similar clinical touch to the one they displayed against Inter, they could make a statement this weekend. Everton, meanwhile, suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of La Liga side Espanyol in their final pre-season friendly.

Everton's Romelu Lukaku is a doubt for Saturday's Premier League opener. | Photo: Getty Images
Everton's Romelu Lukaku is a doubt for Saturday's Premier League opener. | Photo: Getty Images

Team news

Ronald Koeman says Saturday is too soon for new signing Ashley Williams but fellow summer additions Maarten Stekelenburg and Idrissa Gueye could be in line for their competitive debuts. Romelu Lukaku (cut) and Seamus Coleman (ankle) are doubts, but Phil Jagielka (hamstring) and Darron Gibson are fit.

For Tottenham, new boys Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen could both make their competitive debuts for the north London club. However, two definite absentees are suspended Moussa Dembele and Heung-Min Son, currently representing South Korea at Rio 2016.