Spurs face crucial first fortnight as 2010/11 fixtures are announced

TOTTENHAM'S season will start with a bang in August as they kick off a pivotal fortnight with a mouth-watering curtain-raiser with Manchester City at White Hart Lane. Arsenal also travel to face Liverpool at Anfield on the opening weekend...

By Ben Pearce

TOTTENHAM'S season will start with a bang in August as they kick off a pivotal fortnight with a mouth-watering curtain-raiser with Manchester City at White Hart Lane.

Arsenal also travel to face Liverpool at Anfield on the opening weekend as the top flight kicks off in style, with four of the top flight's big guns going head-to-head on the weekend of August 14.

But Spurs' clash with City is just the start of a crucial fortnight for Harry Redknapp's side, who face five critical games in the first two weeks of their season.


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The Lilywhites will play their first Champions League qualifier in midweek, just three or four days after hosting Roberto Mancini's mega-rich outfit at the Lane.

Tottenham then travel to Stoke City's hostile Britannia Stadium for one of the trickiest away days in the Premier League.

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And then, on the Tuesday or Wednesday, their Champions League fate will be decided as Spurs play the second leg of their make-or-break qualifier.

The north Londoners will complete a hectic schedule on the third weekend of the domestic calendar, as they host Wigan Athletic in N17.

And, at the other end of the campaign, Tottenham have another nightmare end-of-season run-in to navigate, with trips to Eastlands, Stamford Bridge and Anfield all coming in the last six games.

Spurs can, at least, look forward to a relatively kinder September, which pits them against West Bromwich Albion, Wolves and West Ham - on top of a Carling Cup third-round tie.

However, the big matches keep on coming, and Spurs will host both Aston Villa and Everton in October, before a trip to Old Trafford at the end of the month.

Redknapp's side will then have two home games against Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers to gather momentum before two crunch clashes, back-to-back.

The first north London derby will be played at the Emirates on the weekend of November 20, and Spurs then host Liverpool the following weekend.

Tottenham entertain Chelsea two weeks later - a fixture they have won in both of the last two seasons - and Redknapp's side then travel to Blackpool to visit Ian Holloway's Seasiders.

Unfortunately, Tottenham fans will spend Boxing Day on the road as they travel to the Midlands and Villa Park. But, two days later, Newcastle visit the Lane.

The Lilywhites host Fulham on New Year's Day and then travel to Everton's Goodison Park before the FA Cup third-round ties in early January.

Spurs host Man United the following weekend, while February brings the second derby clash at the Lane on the weekend of the 26th.

And, just like last season, Redknapp's side will have to put the hammer down in March and make the most of their matches with Wolves, West Ham, Wigan and Stoke, as they look ahead to their nightmare trips to Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool in the final weeks of the season.

Tottenham will, however, be encouraged to see that their campaign finishes where it began - at White Hart Lane, against Birmingham.

* All fixtures are provisional and are subject to change - particularly due to Champions League group games...

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