Tottenham Hotspur head to Brentford for their first Premier League game of 2023-24, but Harry Kane is no longer around. We look ahead to the game with our Opta-powered preview and prediction.
Brentford vs Tottenham: Quick Hits
- Tottenham’s new manager – Ange Postecoglou – heads across London for his first game in charge.
- Spurs have lost their opening league game in just one of the last seven seasons (W5 D1).
- Brentford have not lost on matchday one in either of their two Premier League campaigns.
The Harry Kane to Bayern Munich saga finally ended on Saturday when the England captain sealed a move after Tottenham had accepted a €100 million bid.
Despite initial reports that Kane was hesitating over a switch to the Bundesliga, the 30-year-old has now left for pastures new.
While Kane puts hopes of breaking the Premier League goalscoring record on ice and instead aims to win titles – and possibly the UEFA Champions League – in Germany, Spurs must start life without him when they face Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium.
Kane, who scored 30 top-flight goals last term, will be a huge miss, of course. He had scored in each of his last five Premier League appearances – he had never scored in six in a row before. Maybe there’ll be a time down the line when he does?
Amid the Kane drama, it has been easy to forget this will be Ange Postecoglou’s first competitive match in charge of Spurs, who failed to qualify for Europe last term.
Postecoglou is set to become the first Australian to manage in the Premier League. Including caretakers, just one of Spurs’ last 10 managers has lost their first league game in charge (W6 D3), with Andre Villas-Boas going down 2-1 against Newcastle United in August 2012.
Tottenham have won their last two away London derbies in the Premier League, beating Crystal Palace 4-0 and Fulham 1-0 in January. They had only won two of their previous 19 such matches before this (D8 L9). Brentford are unbeaten in their last nine league London derby matches, winning each of the last four in a row. The Bees last won five consecutive such matches in March 2009.
James Maddison is set for his Spurs debut. The midfielder scored 10 goals and added nine assists in 2022-23. Spurs will definitely be missing Ryan Sessegnon, Bryan Gil and Rodrigo Bentancur through injury, while Tanguy Ndombele is back in training following an injury absence.
Brentford will be without leading goalscorer and star striker Ivan Toney, who is suspended until January after he was found guilty of breaching betting regulations – after he was initially charged before last year’s World Cup. Only Kane and Erling Haaland (36) scored more goals in the Premier League than Toney (20), who also provided four assists, last season.
David Raya is on his way to Arsenal, so Mark Flekken will likely start in goal for the Bees, while they will need Bryan Mbeumo to step up in Toney’s absence – that is if he can pass a fitness test pre-match following a thigh injury.
Brentford vs Tottenham Head-to-Head
Brentford have won just two of their 10 league meetings with Tottenham in their history (D4 L4), though one of those was a 3-1 victory in their most recent match in May.
Before that meeting, Brentford and Spurs drew their previous two league matches, with Tottenham winning the first Premier League encounter between the sides in December 2021.
Tottenham have scored at least once in each of their last 12 Premier League games (24 goals in total) since a 1-0 loss at Wolves in March.
However, Spurs have only managed to keep one clean sheet in their last 13 matches (1-0 vs Crystal Palace).
Brentford won five of their last six Premier League games in 2022-23 (L1), including the last three in a row. They have not won four consecutive league games as a top-flight club since March 1939.
Spurs had a mixed pre-season in terms of results. After losing 3-2 to West Ham, Postecoglou’s team thrashed Lion City Sailors and Shakhtar Donetsk, but they lost 4-2 to Barcelona in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Tuesday.
As for Brentford, Thomas Frank’s team have not managed to win in pre-season, losing to Fulham and Brighton and Hove Albion, while drawing with Boreham Wood, Aston Villa and Lille.
Brentford vs Tottenham Prediction
Premier League predictions can be difficult to make, but the Opta supercomputer has Brentford as the slight favourites, with a win probability of 36.8%. Spurs are ranked at 34.7%, and the draw at 28.5%.
As revealed in our pre-season Premier League predictions article earlier this week, Newcastle (0.22%), Chelsea (0.13%), Brighton (0.08%), Aston Villa (0.04%), Tottenham (0.01%) and Brentford (0.01%) all won the title at least once in the pre-season Opta supercomputer simulations, but it’s probably wise that fans of those clubs don’t expect a serious title challenge in 2023-24 as things stand.