Last in competitive action against Crystal Palace just over seven weeks ago as the 2019/20 season came to a close, it is an incredibly quick turnaround this campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic bringing football to a halt back in March.
Everton are their first opponents of the new term and it will be a tricky game for the Lilywhites given the fact that Carlo Ancelotti has made a real statement in the transfer window over the past few days.
Spurs are going to have to be strong defensively against their opponents as new signing James Rodriguez will be looking to mark his debut in style by causing problems for Mourinho’s men.
But how exactly will Spurs line up on Sunday afternoon at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium? football.london takes a look at the current defensive rankings and what is likely to be the head coach’s preferred backline.
11) Danny Rose
Tottenham fans finally got to see Rose and Jose Mourinho’s heated discussion following the release of the latest episodes of the All or Nothing documentary on Amazon Prime Video.
The England international subsequently spent the end of last campaign on loan at Newcastle United but he is now back in north London as we approach the opening weekend of the season.
Rose just doesn’t have a future at the club and he has not been used in any of the team’s four friendlies so far.
He needs to move on before the transfer deadline in October if he wants to be selected in England’s Euro 2020 squad.
10) Cameron Carter-Vickers
It remains to be seen what exactly will happen with Carter-Vickers over the coming weeks.
The United States international has featured regularly for Spurs in pre-season but he’s still way down the pecking order given all the defenders at the club.
His chance may come in the Europa League or Carabao Cup later this month.
9) Dennis Cirkin
Mourinho is a big fan of Cirkin and included him in the matchday squad a couple of times last season.
The Irishman was given plenty of playing time for the team in pre-season but he’s going to struggle to get minutes in the league with Ben Davies ahead of him in the pecking order.
One for the future at Tottenham.
8) Juan Foyth
Foyth is another player with an uncertain future at the club.
The Argentina international was heavily linked with a move away back in January due to a lack of playing time and things haven’t exactly got much better for him since then.
He could be on his way if things don’t improve and soon.
7) Japhet Tanganga
The highly-rated defender has yet to appear for the club in pre-season.
Not featuring for the team since March due to a stress fracture to his back, Spurs haven’t confirmed why he has been absent recently and Mourinho will give an update on his squad when he speaks to the press later this week.
Chances will be there for him this season after a brilliant breakthrough campaign last year.
6) Serge Aurier
It appears that the Ivorian will start to the season out of the team following the summer addition of Matt Doherty from Wolves.
A regular under Mourinho since he replaced Mauricio Pochettino at the helm, the ex-PSG man has been linked with a move to AC Milan prior to the summer transfer window.
He will get game time given the amount of games coming up this month.
5) Davinson Sanchez
The Colombian made his first appearance of pre-season on Saturday against Wolves after missing their previous three games.
Sanchez got 90 minutes in his legs but there’s a good chance he’ll be on the bench for the Everton match.
It appears that it will be a straight shootout between him and Toby Alderweireld to partner Eric Dier in defence.
4) Toby Alderweireld
Alderweireld is winning the race to partner Dier at the back as things stand.
One of the first names on the teamsheet under Mourinho for most of last season, he did find himself on the bench a couple of times prior to lockdown and then for the first three games back after football finally returned in June.
He’s featured regularly in pre-season for Spurs and he will definitely fancy his chances of starting against Everton.
3) Ben Davies
Davies is the man in possession of the shirt at present when it comes to who plays at left-back.
Although Cirkin and Ryan Sessegnon can both play there, as well as Tanganga if needed, it’s hard to see the Welshman losing his spot unless he is injured.
It really is his shirt to lose.
2) Matt Doherty
Sunday could see Doherty make his first start for Spurs following his move from Wolves.
Having met a few of the team when he was at Hotspur Way to complete his move, he will see the vast majority of the squad for the first time this week once he is back from international duty.
The Irishman excelled for Wolves and Mourinho will be hoping he can do the same during his time at Spurs.
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1) Eric Dier
It has been quite a few months for Dier.
Spending a large chunk of his time on the bench at the start of the year, Mourinho gave him his opportunity at centre-back in March and he has not looked back.
Although he did miss four games after the restart due to his suspension after entering the crowd after the Norwich City FA Cup defeat, Mourinho made a big statement on the final day by bringing the 26-year-old straight back into the team despite the form of Alderweireld and Sanchez.
It does now look like he is the head coach’s first-choice centre-back and he may find himself there on a regular basis for England if he continues to impress along the backline for his club.
Most likely backline vs Everton: Doherty, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies.