Tottenham made a statement in their opening-day win over Southampton: the club can compete at the top of the Premier League for the title with Manchester City and Liverpool. Unlike last season, where the Saints stunned Spurs with a comeback from a 2-0 deficit to leave Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a 3-2 victory and all three points, Antonio Conte’s men were ruthless.
What The Bookies Say
That has been a characteristic sorely lacking in North London, arguably since the days of Bill Nicholson. Conte’s experience will be vital in steering the club into the battle for the crown. As it stands, the club are currently backed in the Premier League winner odds at 13/1 to win the title. Those odds suggest there is a long way to go for Spurs to beat out both City and Liverpool for the crown, but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
Conte prides himself on a stout backline, which was paramount to guiding Chelsea to the Premier League title ahead of Pep Guardiola’s City and Klopp’s Liverpool in the 2016/17 season, while Inter Milan was also a resilient outfit in their Serie A triumph in the 2020/21 campaign under the tenure of the Italian. The Blues conceded only 33 goals, which was a testament to their defence’s strength.
I love Eric Dier 🎶 pic.twitter.com/GyG3xzgJx9— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 6, 2022
Tottenham can produce that same level of intensity that now Conte has switched to the 3-4-3 system. There has already been a notable improvement in the performances of Eric Dier in the middle of the defence, while the signings from the last term have bedded in extremely well. Clement Lenglet will further strengthen the options available to Conte, handing the Italian quality strength in depth that will be vital for the club in a campaign that includes the World Cup.
The Spurs already have one of the best forward lines in the Premier League, with Harry Kane guaranteeing 15 goals per season at the least, while Son Heung-Min enjoyed the best year of his career in the 2021/22 campaign finishing as the joint-winner of the Golden Boot. Add Richarlison into the mix and Spurs have arguably a stronger attack than Liverpool and City.
⚽️ Son Heung-Min's favourite Premier League opponents in terms of goals scored:— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 6, 2022
🥇 Southampton – 10 goals
🤔 Will the joint 2021/22 Golden Boot winner add to that record today? pic.twitter.com/JDr7CJbun6
Not only does Conte have the experience and quality of Kane, Son and Richarlison, but the flexibility of the three players allows the Italian to boast a lot of depth in the final third. All three would arguably start for any club in the Champions League, so the possibility of having all three fit and firing in a title bid is very encouraging.
The front three was the system that Liverpool based their surge to the Premier League crown in the 2019/20 season, ending their longstanding drought. It could be the recipe for success that allows Tottenham to return to the top of English football after 62 years.
Conte has brought a lot to Tottenham in his brief tenure to date, but the clinical edge at both ends of the field could be the decisive factor in beating out two teams that have taken the Premier League to new heights in recent seasons.