Spurs prepare for a Wembley return knowing it will be the first of a few visits this year
PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 August 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
There will be plenty of intriguing individual stories when Tottenham host Fulham on Saturday
Tottenham Hotspur will return to Wembley on Saturday to take on Premier League new boys Fulham, but it will not be the fleeting visit the club expected.
Spurs revealed in June the clash with the Cottagers would be at the national venue in Brent.
It was initially expected the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would open a month later for the Liverpool match on September 15, but this is no longer the case.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team will remain at Wembley for the clash with the Reds and the home game against Cardiff City on October 6.
While if further delays occur to their new 62,062-seater home in N17, then they could be forced to play Manchester City at an alternative venue on October 28.
What is now clear is Spurs will have to get used to Wembley for a little while longer and the stadia likely to host Tottenham’s first couple of Champions League group stage home games too.
Saturday will see Pochettino’s squad back in Brent and they will aim to start this season there how they finish the past campaign.
On the last day of the 2017/18 Premier League term, Tottenham produced a nine-goal thriller with Leicester City at Wembley and won 5-4 to seal a third spot finish.
Last season, the Lilywhites lost their opener at the national home in a London derby with Chelsea and so this time around they will be eager to start positively.
In Fulham, they will come up against a team slightly unknown after a spell in the Championship, but they did face the Whites in the FA Cup in February 2017.
A Harry Kane hat-trick sent the north Londoners through after a 3-0 win at Craven Cottage, but this will be a very different Slavisa Jokanovic team.
Both Tom Cairney and Kevin McDonald started against Spurs 18 months ago and they were also in the side to face Crystal Palace last weekend, but other than that, Fulham are much-changed.
Incidentally, Scott Parker come off the bench against Tottenham on February 19 2017 and he is now part of the coaching staff at SW6 after spending last year as Spurs’ under-18 boss.
Ryan Sessegnon, a player who Pochettino admires, remains part of the Fulham squad too and he is one of a number of talented men in Jokanovic’s squad.
It will not be easy for Spurs this weekend, but a Wembley win may help ease the pain of knowing the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is still a few months away.