Tottenham Hotspurs are set to play their first competitive game at their newly completed Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when they host Crystal Palace tonight in the Premier League.
The 62,062-capacity venue was initially scheduled to open at the start of the 2018/19 season, but issues with “critical safety systems” forced the team to continue playing games at its temporary home of Wembley Stadium.
Setting the club back about 1 million pounds, the state-of-the-art stadium’s outside façade is comprised of 35,000 tiles, 4,801 metal panels, and 2,505 glass panels, with 324 floodlights and 1,800 television monitors – including the largest stadium screen in Western Europe.
Also, the pitch can split into three parts and be housed underneath the south stand. Underneath this pitch is another artificial pitch which can be used for NFL and concerts, replacing the grass pitch. The grass pitch can be stored underneath the stand for up to 10 days.
Two test matches have been staged at the ground before this official opening, with one involving Spurs’ youth team, and the other, a match between the club’s Legends and their Inter counterparts.
Speaking on his pre-match press conference, coach Mauricio Pochettino was optimistic of life at the new home and hoped his players could stay focused to do the job at hand this evening against Palace.
“It’s difficult to be out of the atmosphere but we must be focused only on 90 minutes, then hopefully it will be time to enjoy,” said Pochettino.
“You cannot allow yourself to enjoy it too much because you need to be focused on the game. That is a tough situation for our players, to deal with that emotion, trying to be outside of that atmosphere which is going to be a celebration, a party. It’s a massive moment in the history of the Club.
“It’s going to be tough because it’s going to be emotional. Positive, but emotional too. We are talking a lot about being focused and trying to enjoy it before and after but during the game to be focused because this is a tough game. We need to be focused if we want to win the three points.
“It’s so important in the right way to understand that our responsibility is to be professional and try to deliver the best job we can do, to play in our best way. We started to recover our feeling after Liverpool. Of course it’s tough and painful to lose, but the team has started to recover the feelings in the way we want to play.”
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