Previously on Premier League
“Don’t you think the 1966 World Cup final is a contender for the best final?” says Francis Mead. “I’m old enough to have watched it live. It had a dramatic last-minute equaliser, an incredibly dramatic last-minute goal sealing the win, and also the still (rightly) contested third goal by England, as well as a hattrick. Maybe the 2022 is the best – but I think 1966 is in there, along with 1954 if you like.”
Yes, fair point. It is, in the parlance of our time, in the conversation along with 1930, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1986 and 2022.
Harry Kane and Ivan Perisic are among the World Cup players who start for Spurs. Hugo Lloris is on the bench and Cristian Romero is still on the pi- sorry, is still celebrating.
Brentford make one change from the team that beat Manchester City before the World Cup – Christian Norgaard replaces Frank Onyeka in midfield.
Brentford (3-5-2) Raya; Zanka, Pinnock, Mee; Roerslev, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Henry; Mbuemo, Toney.
Substitutes: Cox, Goode, Jansson, Dasilva, Wissa, Damsgaard, Canos, Ghoddos, Lewis-Potter.
Spurs (3-4-3) Forster; Tanganga, Dier, Lenglet; Doherty, Bissouma, Hojbjerg, Perisic; Kulusevski, Kane, Son.
Substitutes: Lloris, Sanchez, Royal, Davies, Skipp, Sessegnon, Sarr, White, Gil.
Well this feels a bit weird. Eight days after the greatest World Cup final in at least 68 years, the Premier League is back (baby). We start with Brentford v Tottenham Hotspur, or 10th v 4th if you’re reliant on the league table for a bit of context as you’ve completely forgotten what happened before the World Cup. In fact, these teams signed off with memorable victories: Brentford won 2-1 at Manchester City, and Spurs thrice tcame from behind to beat Leeds 4-3.
Ivan Toney scored both goals in the win at the Etihad, and all eyes will be on him and Harry Kane today. Both were the subject of unwelcome headlines during the World Cup: Toney for allegedly having 262 flutters too many, Kane for missing a late penalty in England’s quarter-final defeat to France.
Funny how things work out. In 2018, Kane won the Golden Boot but didn’t play particularly well. In Qatar he was superb, the best centre forward in the tournament in ma opinion, but all anyone will remember is the shocking moment when he launched his penalty over the bar.
England players have reacted to penalty trauma in different ways. Stuart Pearce went on the rampage, scoring a career-best 16 goals in 1990-91; Gareth Southgate went into a funk; David Batty got on with life as if nothing had happened. Adversity stimulates people in different ways. We’ll soon get our first insight into Kane’s state of mind – and Toney’s.
Kick off 12.30pm.