In a surprise move, Mauricio Pochettino has decided to start Kyle Walker-Peters at right-back in Tottenham’s first match of the new Premier League season against Newcastle United.
Kieran Trippier’s injury and a lack of other options means 20-year-old Walker-Peters is given his Premier League debut at St James’ Park.
There was talk of either Eric Dier or Moussa Sissoko playing on the right side of defence, but Pochettino has put his faith in youth as he has so often in the past.
Sissoko does start: it looks like he’ll be part of an attacking midfield trio with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen. Harry Kane starts up front.
Dier partners Mousa Dembele in central midfield. Victor Wanyama is only fit enough for the bench after recovering from a pre-season injury.
Ben Davies, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld join Walker-Peters in a back four. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris captains the side.
Heung-Min Son is also among the substitutes. Here’s how Twitter reacted to all the team news.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 13, 2017
Wow, KWP *does* start. Big statement of confidence in him from Poch, but the end of Spurs' new right-back dreams? https://t.co/pv5Qgi3FR6
— Nikhil Saglani (@Nikhil_Saglani) August 13, 2017
KWP 😳 indirect to levy Mourinho style?
— Ben (@InsideN17) August 13, 2017
I understand that after Poch telling me last week Walker-Peters wasn't ready, he's been superb in training this week. Kick up the backside.
— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) August 13, 2017
Well, that lineup isn't what I was expecting. Here we go again.
— San Diego Spurs (@SDSpurs) August 13, 2017
Good to see Walker Peters start. Sissoko in front of him should help him defensively.
— Alan (@LaptopManager_) August 13, 2017
— Eric (@EricYid) August 13, 2017
Saying he's not ready is a smokescreen, Poch trusts KWP and so should we. https://t.co/lmuGoHutf9
— Spurs Fanatic (@spurs_fanatical) August 13, 2017
— Emma Storey (@JournoSpursEmma) August 13, 2017
Despite all the shit being thrown about our lack of depth, that bench is pretty strong. COYS!
— Spurred On (@spurredontv) August 13, 2017
Sissoko going full Adebayor today would be immense.
— Stephen Vincent (@StevieV14) August 13, 2017
— Andrew Gaffney (@GaffneyVLC) August 13, 2017
Sissoko is playing for his future at Spurs or a move away. Add in he's also up against his old club today. Probably have a blinder 😳🙃😬
— Paul O Keefe (@pokeefe1) August 13, 2017
— Joshua Onomah (@Joshuaonomah10) August 13, 2017
I'm so incredibly confused 😟 https://t.co/QYWIqkoFnn
— Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) August 13, 2017
— Armed Forces Spurs (@UK_Forces_Spurs) August 13, 2017
Today, if you're not fully behind KWP, regardless of your opinion on him, take a walk east or south and find a new club.
— Scott Byrd (@DSMSpurs) August 13, 2017
When #THFC fans were picking their team for this game a few weeks ago, hands up how many had Moussa Sissoko in it? Never a dull moment!
— Tom Collomosse (@TomCStandard) August 13, 2017
Sissoko is going to dominate that midfield today and EVERYONE IS GOING TO BE SORRY.
— Dan Louw (@DanLouw) August 13, 2017