Birmingham City v Tottenham
Tottenham travel to the Birmingham on the opening day of the season hoping to continue their recent good form against sides from the West Midlands. Spurs have not lost to a West Midlands based team since a 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa back in November 2000 and will be aiming to continue the trend.
The opening day of the Premiership season has traditionally proved to be a good day for Spurs with only 2 defeats in 11 opening fixtures although they have had to settle for a point in each of the past two years.
Tottenham’s ability to start the season well took them to the summit of the Premiership last season after a draw and three wins in the opening four matches. However, the season ultimately ended in disappointment for Glenn Hoddle’s men with the campaign ending with three straight defeats.
They are heading to a happy hunting ground in St Andrews though where they’ve not lost to Birmingham in any competition since defeat in the 1982-83 season.
Steve Bruce’s side received a great deal of praise last season as they confounded their critics and survived in the Premiership. The capture of David Dunn for £5.5million in the close season signals their intent to better themselves this time around as they look for a position in the top half of the table.
The Blues will have to improve in front of goal for that to happen, as no side managed to hit fewer shots last season. They managed just 326 efforts in their 38 games and only relegated West Brom and Sunderland scored fewer goals.
Tottenham will not be in for an easy ride however against a Birmingham side that isn’t afraid to put it’s foot in. The Blues picked up 71 cautions during the course of the campaign — more than any other Premiership side — suggesting that Tottenham will be unable to gently ease themselves back into the season.