Brentford vs Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham are reeling following Harry Kane’s departure to Bayern Munich and they could be in for a tough time when they begin their Premier League campaign at Brentford on Sunday.
Spurs have been unable to keep hold of their record goalscorer, who has swapped the Premier League for the Bundesliga, and that has left a huge void ahead of their trip to the Gtech Community Stadium.
Brentford, who also have their own striker issues with Ivan Toney unavailable until January, may feel this is the perfect time to take on a Tottenham side wounded by the departure of their talisman.
Brentford goalkeeper David Raya is closing in on a move to Arsenal so Mark Flekken is set to make his debut following his summer switch from Freiburg.
Striker Ivan Toney is unavailable until January but Bryan Mbeumo has recovered from a dead leg and should start.
Left-back Rico Henry was a precautionary omission from the Bees’ final pre-season friendly but should also make Thomas Frank’s starting line-up.
Josh Dasilva and Christian Norgaard are also available — the latter missed the tour of the US due to personal reasons — while Frank Onyeka will be assessed as he recovers from a knock.
The glaring absence for Tottenham is Kane, who has joined Bayern Munich, while Ryan Sessegnon, Bryan Gil and Rodrigo Bentancur are all missing through injury.
New centre-back Micky van der Ven is unlikely to start as he is short of match fitness and Tanguy Ndombele has only recently returned to training, but there is expected to be a league debut for summer signing James Maddison.
Brentford are unbeaten in nine league London derby matches, winning the last four, and they have drawn both of their home matches against Tottenham since promotion in 2021.
The Bees have not lost the opening match in either of their two Premier League campaigns, beating Arsenal 2-0 before drawing 2-2 with Leicester last term.
Spurs also have an impressive opening-day record, losing the first match just once over the last seven seasons, but they did suffer a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Brentford in the pair’s last meeting.
Kane accounted for 30 of Tottenham’s 70 league goals in 2022-23, while he scored in both fixtures against the Bees last season.