10 Key Fixtures for Tottenham Hotspur in the 2014-15 Season
Tottenham Hotspur's 2014-15 Premier League fixtures have been announced.
New manager Mauricio Pochettino faces a tough start to life at Tottenham. His difficult opening six matches includes three London derbies.
The prospect of an easier beginning to spring than last season holds some promise for good late-season form. Unfortunately, from the end of 2014 through to February, Spurs face a difficult run of games through the busiest time of the season.
The visit of champions Manchester City and a season-ending game against a potential top-four rival ensures no simple conclusion to the campaign either.
Spurs' full set of fixtures are now listed via their official website (of course they are subject to change depending on the whims of the television companies). Here, we take a look at some of the key dates among them.
Opening Day at Upton Park: August 16, 2014
Revenge or more misery?
After losing three times to London rivals West Ham United last season, Tottenham Hotspur have the opportunity to put that right straight away in 2014-15.
Going to Upton Park to start the season will be a tough opening test for Mauricio Pochettino's side, though. May's 2-0 defeat there was proof of how big a game the visit of Tottenham is for the Hammers.
For West Ham boss Sam Allardyce, it will be the first opportunity to try out the demanded "improvements to the set-up of the playing and backroom staff to ensure the team provides more entertainment." Former Spur Teddy Sheringham is the Irons' new attacking coach charged with helping this progression.
With an attacking brand of football being asked of Pochettino too, this ding-dong derby could be an especially entertaining start to the year.
Liverpool (H): August 30, 2014
Tottenham barely made a dent against any of the clubs who finished fourth or higher in the Premier League last season. They took only one point from eight games (at home to Chelsea).
Their losses to Liverpool—5-0 at home, 4-0 away—were among the most humiliating.
Spurs play their first home game on August 23, versus former boss Harry Redknapp's Queens Park Rangers. It is the following week's visit of Liverpool, however, that will provide an early marker of the north Londoners' standing amongst the top-flight's elite.
Its position so early in the season means reading too much into the result might prove foolish. But after Spurs' struggles against such sides last season, it is an important opportunity to start putting things right this time around.
Arsenal (A): September 27, 2014
Regardless of league ambitions, the first meeting with Arsenal is a fixture most Tottenham fans will look for first.
This year, the season's first north London derby comes on the Gunners' turf on September 27, six games into the campaign for both teams.
Spurs loss at the Emirates Stadium last August was an early blow in 2013-14. The club rebounded with seven points from their next three games, but it was advantage Arsenal in the battle for dominance in the capital's north.
A win for Spurs would be a big boost for Pochettino early in his reign too.
Pochettino Reunited with Southampton (H): October 4, 2014
Pochettino comes face to face with his former club Southampton for the first time on October 4.
The Argentinian will be pleased the reunion takes place in the possibly more friendly environment of White Hart Lane.
Depending on how Pochettino's time at Spurs has begun, it could be a chastening experience if Spurs struggle against the Saints. Conversely, a strong Tottenham performance could serve as a proper form of closure as he firmly moves on with the next phase of his coaching career.
Whatever the end result, it should be an intriguing contest between two top-10 sides from last season getting to work under new managers (Ronald Koeman has replaced Pochettino at Southampton).
Chelsea (A): December 3, 2014
Tottenham's busy Christmas and New Year's period gets underway with a tough midweek trip to Stamford Bridge.
By early December we will have a decent idea of where both teams are heading this season.
Chelsea will almost certainly be among the early runners in the hunt for the Premier League title. Spurs will hope to be not too far behind.
After collapsing in woeful fashion last time out at Chelsea, Spurs supporters will be desperate for a much better showing against their city neighbours.
Boxing Day at Leicester: December 26, 2014
Tottenham will spend Christmas 2014 on the road as they visit Leicester City on Boxing Day.
The newly promoted Championship winners will be looking to replicate the job done by Crystal Palace and Hull City in staying up last season. Not so much the shambles that was Cardiff City, a near-catastrophic effort that incidentally reached its apex during the festive season last year.
Spurs have less than pleasant memories of their previous two meetings with the Foxes.
Leicester upset them in the FA Cup Third Round back in 2006, winning 3-2 at the then-Walkers Stadium. Their last Premier League meeting was a 4-4 thriller in February 2004, marked by poor Spurs defending and a late equaliser from Jermain Defoe.
With the two fixtures that follow for Spurs, their reunion with Leicester is a big opportunity to gain three points.
1st Game of 2015 Is Chelsea at Home: January 1, 2015
After Leicester on Boxing Day comes two daunting fixtures at the turn of the year. Manchester United conclude 2014, while Chelsea are Tottenham's first game of 2015.
Both come at home, but it is still as tough a couple of games Spurs could have received during such a busy time of year.
Coming less than a month on from their previous meeting with them, Chelsea could be an especially fierce contest, depending how the first has gone.
Spurs began 2014 with a bang, beating Man United 2-1 at Old Trafford. They will hope to kick off 2015 in similar fashion with a win over the Blues.
Arsenal (H): February 7, 2015
Tottenham begin arguably their toughest month of the season with the visit of Arsenal to White Hart Lane.
Three points is three points. But the boost of beating the Gunners in the middle of winter could be big heading into the final few months of the season.
Within a few days they head to Anfield for a tough midweek clash with Liverpool. A break in Premier League play follows, but then comes two further London derbies.
Spurs will hope to have broken their Hammer hoodoo by the time West Ham make their way to the Lane. But a trip to the hostile environs of Loftus Road is a daunting one no matter the circumstances.
QPR made that much clear the last two times Spurs turned up there, holding Spurs to a costly solitary point from six as their fans turned up the volume.
Manchester City (H): May 2, 2015
Tottenham will not overlook March and April's fixtures by any means. But if they are still competitive in the hunt for a place in the top four come May, that month's first fixture that could prove influential for them and their opponents.
Reigning champions Manchester City come to White Hart Lane on the 2nd.
Manuel Pellegrini's team will be planning on a win that aids their chances of retaining their crown (if they have not already). Spurs will be hoping a positive result keeps them within reaching distance of fulfilling their aspirations for the year.
Last Game of the Season at Everton: May 24, 2015
Tottenham conclude their 2014-15 campaign with a potentially decisive match away at Everton.
The Merseyside outfit finished fifth last season, one place ahead of Spurs. Manager Roberto Martinez faces a tough task getting his team at least back there, but that will undoubtedly be his target.
If things go according to plan for both clubs, they will hope this match means little bar finishing the year off on a high. The chances are something will be on the line for at least one of them.