Sunday, 13th August, 2pm. The first match in Spurs’ post-Harry Kane era. Brentford are their hosts, as this Premier League of ours continues to breathe anew.

This protracted saga concerning their talisman will have done nothing for the nerves of the Tottenham faithful, but here it is. Their greatest-ever goalscorer is now a Bayern Munich player, and life without Harry starts right now, with a very difficult opener.

The PL might not be the most sensational sporting product on planet earth but it’s surely up there in the top one?

Selections

  • James Maddison to score at any time @ 13/5
  • Brentford to win @ 13/8

Team news

A transfer saga that’s in truth a couple of years old finally resolved when Harry Kane decided to embrace Bavaria. He didn’t make it to Manchester, but Munich, no problem. Tottenham must learn to live without him, and most crucially, his goals. Anything from the late-teens/thirty mark was Harry’s habitual ‘net’ haul, and he’s amassed 213 in the PL for Spurs over his career.

Record-holder Alan Shearer perhaps isn’t entirely bereft, as Harry departs these shores a couple of good seasons-worth short of the Geordie’s total of 260.

Spurs of course have a new boss in Ange Postecoglou. Quite a baptism of fire for the much-travelled Aussie, who enjoyed a sensational couple of years at Celtic most recently and arrives with a lofty reputation. I’ve a feeling we’ll soon see exactly what he’s made of, and the scrutiny could hardly be more intense.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank has said that Bryan Mbeumo should be fit to start, and both Rico Henry and Josh Dasilva are believed to be ready for selection. ‘Keeper Mark Flekken is slated to make his PL debut.

Postecoglou is thought to be minus Bryan Gil, Rodrigo Bentancur, Fraser Forster and Ryan Sessegnon. Destiny Udogie could start but Micky van de Ven may not be ready. New signing James Maddison will surely feature from the off.

James Maddison to score at any time @ 13/5

The England midfielder is behind only the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes in terms of recent-season goal involvements. He’ll be hoping this move to Spurs will help cement his occasional England spot, and I’m sure he’ll be desperate to hit the ground running.

What better way than to announce his arrival in the grandest of manners with a goal? No Kane, but a new manager and a player hungry to make his mark. I’m having a little punt at 13/5. Maddison is a lovely player to watch, glides into dangerous positions, and should still have his most productive years ahead.

Brentford to win @ 13/8

However – even without the long-term suspended Ivan Toney, Brentford have become a formidable and attractive outfit under Frank finishing 9th last term, just a point behind Spurs. They beat their near-neighbours 3-1 at the Spurs Stadium in May, and will be primed for a repeat.

The obvious conclusion to draw here is that the game could well be blessed with goals, but the other feeling I’m getting is that this is a heaven-sent opportunity for Brentford to start the new campaign with a win.

Spurs will be desperate to start well themselves, but the Kane fall-out might just affect them a little. It would be entirely understandable. The Bees have been on the ‘up’ for a little while now under this excellent manager, and I’m taking the 13/8 that there’s even more to shout about at the Gtech on Sunday afternoon.

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