One game in and pundit reveals why Tottenham are realistic Premier League title challengers

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Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski, Harry Kane Tottenham Credit: PA Images
Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski, Harry Kane Tottenham Credit: PA Images

Former Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel believes Antonio Conte’s men are realistic title challengers this season after they got their campaign off to a perfect start.

Spurs came from a goal down to thump Southampton on Saturday, with Dejan Kulusevski notching a goal and an assist in an impressive display from Conte’s men in their Premier League opener.

And Friedel is confident a stronger squad, coupled with Conte’s guile could see Tottenham challenge the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool for the top prize.

Friedel spent over 18 years playing in England’s top flight and eventually retired after four years with Spurs.

And he believes that Conte having a full season in north London will reap dividends. Add in a strong summer of recruitment and Spurs are expected to be in the mix for top honours.

In an interview with Boyle Sports, Friedel said: “Under Antonio Conte, you’d be foolish to rule out Tottenham for the title.

“He’s been at the club a while now and spent some quality time with his players so they could be a dark horse. He doesn’t settle for second best.

“Antonio Conte is a winner. He’s done great business in the transfer window, but it’ll be tough,” Friedel admitted.

“Arsenal and Manchester United have both improve. However, you can’t take Tottenham out of the question when you have a winner like Conte.

“When a club has a manager like Antonio Conte and players that are used to winning they can do special things in a season.

“Tottenham definitely have an outside chance of winning the Premier League, for sure.”

Top four still main Tottenham aim

Victory over a defensively woeful Saints is one thing but Spurs will get a true test of their credentials next Sunday when they head to Chelsea.

The Blues hardly got out of second gear in their win at Everton on Saturday evening. However, Stamford Bridge has always been an unhappy hunting ground for Tottenham and will give a clear indication of how good they can be this season.

None of the club’s new signings started against Southampton. And that is likely to be the same again, despite Richarlison being back from a ban and Yves Bissouma having another week to play it safe with a hamstring injury.

One area that Conte might look to change is left wing-back, with Ivan Perisic pushing for a start. However, Ryan Sessegnon scored his first Premier League goal for the club on Saturday and is likely to keep his place.

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