For the next nine days, from tonight till the early kick-off next Saturday, Spurs fans will have the unique opportunity of watching their beloved team play four home fixtures at the stunning fortress that is White Hart Lane. A significant rarity, plying their trade in front of their home crowd four times in a row is an occasion the players will relish and they will hope they can elicit maximum joy from their avid supporters in this one-and-a-half week period.
Home is Where the Heart is: Four Home Fixtures for Spurs
First up on their busy schedule is the relatively unknown quantity of Qarabag FK, their first Europa League opponents. Despite being the holders of the Azerbaijan Premier League and the Azerbaijani Cup, they are considered the easiest opponents in Tottenham’s group, which has been billed as the ‘Group of Death’ with Anderlecht and Monaco filling the other two spots.
While Qarabag beat Young Boys 3-0 on their way to the group stage, Spurs will fancy their chances and will consider this game a must win, especially as their next two Europa League games are away against opponents more illustrious than they. With a passionate crowd behind them at White Hart Lane, victory is largely expected and anything less will be considered an extremely underwhelming start to their European campaign. Despite Mason, Eriksen and Dembele being ruled out injured, Spurs certainly have enough firepower to inflict defeat on the Azerbaijani Champions.
While Qarabag may be seen as quite an easy challenge, the visit of Crystal Palace on Sunday is anything but. Sitting pretty at sixth in the Premier League table while Spurs are recovering from a shaky start at 12th, it promises to be an intriguing battle between the two sides. Having already beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and only narrowly losing to a 90th minute winner against City last time out, Crystal Palace are an opponent Spurs must take seriously in order to amass only their second victory of the Premier League season.
With last season’s head-to-head results being a defeat at Selhurst Park and a rather lucky 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane, Spurs must ensure they buck the trend and win their first Premier League game at home. With massive fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester City not too far away, it is essential that they boost their confidence with a solid win against a strong and determined Crystal Palace side.
The third fixture on the list carries undoubtedly the most importance, despite it being a Third Round clash in the much-maligned Capital One Cup. Spurs vs Arsenal: the North London derby. The fixture fans anticipate most greatly upon the release of the fixture list. Having been drawn alongside each other, fans get an extra taste of this enthralling match up before they meet in the Premier League. With the game taking place under the lights at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night, Spurs fans will believe they can get one over their rivals and continue in the competition they performed so admirably in last season.
With derbies, one never knows what the outcome will be. The old adage “form goes out of the window” is perfectly apt in these scenarios and picking a winner is largely impossible. Both teams are expected to field quite strong sides compared to what would generally be seen in a Third Round League Cup clash, given how crucial it is for each team to exert their superiority over their neighbour. Spurs will hope their home grown hero, Harry Kane, will be back to his goal scoring best by then and can display a match-winning masterclass as he did in Spurs’ 2-1 victory earlier in February this year.
Lastly, at the end of this home game sequence, Spurs face Man City: a match up which has brought nothing but extreme disappointment for their fans since their last victory over them in April 2013. From 6-0, 5-1, 4-1 and lately a 1-0 defeat, Manchester City have been Spurs’ most challenging opponent by far and with their recent swashbuckling start to the Premier League season with five straight wins, it would be rather difficult to inflict their first defeat of the season upon them.
However, Spurs can take comfort from their 5-3 dismantling of the champions Chelsea last season, and if they play with the same determination and fearlessness, they can match the might of even the league toppers. With an early Saturday kick-off, fans will pour into the ground hoping to see one of the magical displays akin to a couple last season where the youth of Spurs shone brightest.
Nine days, four home fixtures and, the most optimistic of supporters will hope, four home wins. While this may be a rather tough ask, if Spurs display the tenacity and brilliance fans know they are capable of, four consecutive home wins will certainly not be out of the question.