Tottenham’s hosting of Crystal Palace on Wednesday in the Premier League will be a historic occasion as it will mark the first match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Much is riding on the game for the hosts, whose disastrous recent domestic form, which has seen them suffer four defeats in five, has thrown their place in the top four into doubt and with it the potentially lavish revenue stream of Champions League football next season.
The team with the honour of guesting in the opening game are a Palace outfit closing in on another season of top-flight football, with 36 points to their credit and three wins in their last five.
It promises to be no easy ride for Spurs.
|Game||Tottenham vs Crystal Palace|
|Date||Wednesday, April 3|
|Time||7:45pm BST/ 2:45pm EST|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the match can be watched on NBCSN or streamed via NBC Sports Live.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|NBCSN||NBC Sports Live|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast or streamed live.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Tottenham Hotspur squad|
|Goalkeepers||Lloris, Vorm, Gazzaniga|
|Defenders||Trippier, Rose, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Foyth, Davies, Walker-Peters|
|Midfielders||Wanyama, Sissoko, Eriksen, Lucas Moura, Winks, Nkoudou, Amos, Alli|
|Forwards||Kane, Son Janssen|
Confirmed Tottenham starting XI: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Rose; Sissoko, Eriksen, Dele; Son, Kane.
|Position||Crystal Palace players|
|Goalkeepers||Hennessey, Guaita, Speroni|
|Defenders||Tomkins, Riedewald, Dann, Van Aanholt, Souare, Wan-Bissaka, Ward, Kelly|
|Midfielders||Milivojevic, Kouyate, McArthur, Schlupp, Meyer, Kaikai, Townsend, Sako|
|Forwards||Zaha, Benteke, Ayew, Wickham|
Confirmed Crystal Palace starting XI: Guaita; Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Tomkins, Van Aanholt; Milivojevic, McArthur, Kouyate, Schlupp, Zaha; Batshuayi.
Betting & Match Odds
Tottenham are strong 9/20 favourites to make themselves at home and win at Bet365. Palace are 13/2 get the three points, while the draw is 4/1.
After nearly two years away, Spurs can finally return home on Wednesday, with their new £1 billion ground finally ready for opening after a string of delays.
White Hart Lane may have gone, but it has provided the bulk of the site of which their new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has been built upon, with the club confident that the 62,062-seater arena is the greatest in the world.
Spurs, however, want a team to match and with finances tight during the construction process, it is all the more imperative that they play Champions League football next season.
A top-four place seemed a formality earlier this season but Mauricio Pochettino’s small squad has stumbled on hard times and has picked up just a single point in five outings, leaving them suddenly vulnerable ahead of a home doubleheader against Crystal Palace and already-relegated Huddersfield, who visit on April 13.
The latest blow they suffered was a 2-1 reverse against Liverpool on Sunday, which came about due to a catastrophic error from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, which led to Toby Alderweireld scoring a decisive own goal in the last minute.
“It is so important for the club to be in the top four at the end of the season,” Pochettino underlined to Sky Sports.
“It is now a mini-league - seven games and we are in the top four. It is in our hands.
“In the circumstances, my players are more than heroes. We need to keep our trust and confidence and we will fight to be in the next Champions League.”
Pochettino is looking forward to the opening of the new ground but has warned his players that they have to be “clever” with how they manage themselves in the game.
“It's so important to manage the energy, a lot of emotion is going to be there,” he added.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson is also eager for this encounter.
“I am really happy that it has fallen our way, that we happen to be the team that Tottenham are playing on the day,” he said.
“Whether it turns out to be advantageous in any way we just have to wait and say. I somewhat doubt it.
“I think Tottenham will be so anxious to do so well that we are going to see the very, very best Tottenham that you can see.”
Spurs have won five of the last six meetings between these sides 1-0 and would doubtless welcome a similar success to christen their new ground.