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SPORTS UPDATE

Tottenham kickstart new season against Southampton

Antonio Conte will get to finally see how far his Tottenham team have come when they kickstart the new Premier League campaign against Southampton on the opening day before facing bitter rivals Chelsea in a fierce London derby a week later.

In his first six months as Spurs boss, the Italian managed to turn their poor start under Nuno Espirito Santo around and guide them to a fourth place finish – securing Champions League football in the process.

But with that fine performance saw him drop points to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men in a five-goal thriller back in February while Spurs lost three times to Chelsea under Conte which saw him point how just how far off the two sides were.

Now that he is being backed in the transfer market and will have a full pre-season to implement his ideas, Conte will be out to avenge those two defeats in the first two games of the 2022-23 campaign.

Their next tough test comes a month later when they make the trip north to take on Manchester City at the Etihad.

Spurs do have a brilliant record against the reigning Premier League champions but Conte’s men will need to be at their very best now that Erling Haaland will be leading the line for Pep Guardiola’s side.

Their clash at the Etihad will also take place days after each side’s first Champions League group game, leaving both managers with a potential selection headache.

Then just over a fortnight later, it’s the first north London derby of the season. Spurs will make the short journey across the capital to take on Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side at the Emirates, with the two teams expected to be battling it out for top four honours come the end of the season.

Spurs will also face Liverpool in the penultimate game before the Premier League grinds to a halt in November for the Qatar World Cup.

The north London side won’t see Liverpool again until late April, which will see them face the Reds at Anfield a week after they’ve welcomed Manchester United to White Hart Lane.

Tottenham will then finish the campaign with an away fixture against Leeds United, rounding off the month of May which will have seen them take on Crystal Palace and Brentford at home, with a trip to Aston Villa sandwiched in between.

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