“It all points to a tricky opening duel for the hosts – one from which new boss Ronald Koeman will be delighted to emerge unscathed, having admitted that his squad rebuilding remains far from complete, and that those he can deploy are still lacking full match fitness.”
Everton manager Ronald Koeman: “We are, in terms of physical state, 70% of what we need to be. We are working hard and we will improve.
“I doubt that means we will start to play at 70%. But if I compare the numbers of the physical states of the players, it is 70% and at Southampton [Koeman’s former club] it was 100%.”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino on his side’s frustrating end to last season: “I just told them [his players], ‘If I have the opportunity to kill you then I kill everyone’. I wanted to kill all of them.
“What did they do wrong? A lot of things. Football is tactical, physical, technical, but it is also mental. More mental than many years ago.
“We need to know how to improve our mental state. I think this was key in the last few games in last season.
“To move on the team, to achieve another level, it is here that we need to improve.”
Tottenham will be looking to kick on from last season but they started quite slowly last year and did not get a win until their fifth league game – I don’t think they will start with a win this time either.