Manchester City recovered from two goals down at half-time to defeat Tottenham 4-2 at the Etihad Stadium and close the gap on Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Spurs took advantage of some poor City defending – with Ederson in particular at fault – through goals from Dejan Kulusevski and Ederson Royal just before the interval.

But City's response was just as swift as they were level eight minutes into the second half thanks to Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland, who ended his mini goal drought.

City survived a scare when Perisic hit the post, but Riyad Mahrez put them ahead and added another late on to move his side within five points of Arsenal, who have a game in hand.

Like he did in Spurs' 3-2 win here last year, Kulusevski opened the scoring after Rodri poked the ball into his path when put under pressure following Ederson's poor pass.

Emerson headed in a second for Spurs moments later after Kane won a tackle against Rodri and had an angled drive pushed back into danger by Ederson.

Guardiola opted against making any changes at the break, but his side's response was instant, with Alvarez firing home a loose ball after Riyad Mahrez's cross was not dealt with.

City, who left Kevin De Bruyne on the bench all match, were on level terms two minutes later through Haaland's close-range header after Mahrez headed the ball back across goal.

Ivan Perisic had a shot blocked right in front of goal by Rico Lewis, with the loose ball hitting the post, and that would prove a big moment as Mahrez completed the comeback.

Mahrez first fired a low, hard shot past Lloris at the Spurs keeper's near post, before capitalising on Clement Lenglet's poor touch to race in and double his tally at the death.

Dejan Kulusevski will be available to return for Tottenham against North London rivals Arsenal on Sunday.

Kulusevski was a key man for Spurs at the start of this season, but spent a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury prior to the World Cup.

The winger featured in Spurs' final three games before the tournament in Qatar, and with Sweden failing to qualify, the 22-year-old used the break to try and return to fitness.

But while he played the entirety of Spurs' first game back, a 2-2 draw at Brentford, Kulusevski was absent for the home defeat to Aston Villa with a muscle injury before also missing the victories over Crystal Palace and Portsmouth.

However, the former Juventus man is in contention for a clash with bitter rivals Arsenal, who hold a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

"The news for sure is the situation is going to improve, especially for Kulusevski," Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte told reporters on Friday. "He had training sessions in the last few days with us. He's going to be ready to play."

Conte will not be able to call upon Richarlison and Rodrigo Bentancur, both of whom picked up injuries while at the World Cup and have not featured for Spurs since.

"About Richy and Rodrigo, both situations are improving," Conte added. "I think in this moment Deki [Kulusevski] is much more ready to play. 

"For us, it is important to have patience ahead of this period and not to risk accelerating and lose them for a long period. We will see."

Lucas Moura has also endured a frustrating time due to injury and the club have decided not to renew his contract, which expires at the end of this season.

Conte said: "This is the decision of the club [not to renew]. 

"Honestly in my mind, when we planned this season Lucas was an important player for us. If you see the season, he's played one or two games."

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has recently come under fire for his touchline antics after an angry confrontation with Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe during a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium, with the Gunners feeling they should have had a late penalty.

But Conte, who clashed with former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel earlier in the season, feels Arteta is within his rights to be animated, explaining: "Arteta is another coach that shows his passion and transfers this into the pitch and his players.

"Our job now has become really difficult, so to see a coach sat on the bench is very difficult. For sure Arteta is a coach like me, we show our passion. Nothing is prepared in your mind.

"Sometimes you can celebrate in a strange way, but this passion is a pure passion. Arteta is another coach who likes to live the game."

Conte was more critical of Arsenal's conduct as a team, after receiving two FA charges in the space of six days for their behaviour against Newcastle and then Oxford United in the FA Cup, stating: "To intimidate and create a bad atmosphere is not fair. I hate the people who try to do it."

Dejan Kulusevski believes Tottenham will achieve "better results than the first six months of the season" following the World Cup break.

Spurs will play their first game in well over a month when they travel to Brentford on Monday.

Antonio Conte's side sit fourth in the Premier League and are into the Champions League round of 16, with Milan their opponents.

Winger Kulusevski feels Spurs will return an even better side following the hiatus.

"I expect better results than the first six months of the season," Kulusevski told Stats Perform. "I think we can do better and we've been working, so now it's just time to show what we've been doing.

"I think we have a lot of quality players that still can make more. We have very good players and you saw that in the World Cup. Almost every player did very well.

"So I think that we would just have to stay healthy and then play like we can."

Kulusevski has six goal involvements from nine appearances this season, having been sidelined due to injury.

While a number of Kulusevki's team-mates have spent the last month or so battling it out in Qatar, Sweden's failure to qualify for the tournament means the former Juventus man has remained with Spurs.

Harry Kane was one of those at the World Cup, missing a crucial late penalty for England as they crashed out against France in the quarter-finals.

Kulusevski is looking forward to linking back up with the prolific striker Kane as Spurs look for their first silverware since winning the EFL Cup in 2008.

"He's [Kane] had a nice break, so it was very good to see him and I can't wait to play with him," Kulusevski said.

Kulusevski says former Chelsea boss Conte, known for being a hard taskmaster, has ensured those players not at the World Cup have been rigorously put through their paces.

"He's good. He doesn't care about anything," Kulusevski added. "It doesn't matter if it's dark or if it's raining, you [have] just got to do the work and that's how it's supposed to be.

"I think that we worked a lot on pressing and I think it's important that we get better.

"I think that the next thing is that when we win the ball, we have to choose the right pass so we can score."

The latest Liverpool revival starts here. Those mighty Reds have pulled level on points with Fulham.

Still, you have to start somewhere, and Tottenham are usually ripe for the picking when Liverpool are in town, with Eric Dier this time taking it upon himself to roll out the red carpet and wave Mohamed Salah into the spotlight.

It's nine goals in eight games now for Salah, none of them penalties, and if Liverpool collectively are still far short of where Jurgen Klopp would want them, then at least the manager need not worry about his star forward.

A 2-1 win at Tottenham came as little surprise in many regards, since it means the north London side remain winless in their last 10 Premier League games against Liverpool, drawing three of those and losing seven.

Salah was on the scoresheet the last time Liverpool lost to Tottenham in the league, getting the consolation in a 4-1 humbling at Wembley – Spurs' then temporary home – in October 2017.

That was in the early stages of his first season with Liverpool, and Salah has barely stopped scoring since, though a shaky run of games early this season raised red flags about his form.

Fresh from signing a long-term deal in the close season, and recently turning 30, Liverpool are counting on Salah to remain lethal in front of goal.

Their success under Klopp, that Tottenham can only envy, has come thanks to a host of factors, but Salah's goals have been front and centre.

He was not sure in midweek that he had been awarded Liverpool's opening goal against Napoli, with Darwin Nunez's header having been close to crossing the line before it was nudged out to Salah.

But Salah was in the right place and was given that one, and there was no doubting his claims to Liverpool's two goals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where the visitors finally picked up a first away league win of the season.

The first was another from the Nunez-Salah collection, their partnership blossoming now, with the Uruguayan finding the Egyptian with a short, smart pass in the penalty area and the finish to the bottom-right corner was exemplary.

Desperate defending from Dier presented Salah with the chance to double Liverpool's lead, with the England international looking to nod Alisson's long kick back to Hugo Lloris but getting it all wrong.

Salah's footwork, running at pace onto the loose ball, was magnificent, and the chipped finish over the France goalkeeper was immaculate.

But what of Dier? Can he be trusted to avoid such blunders by Gareth Southgate at the World Cup? That is a third error leading to a shot committed by Dier in all competitions this season. Only one player from Europe's top leagues has had more: Liverpool's Joe Gomez (4).

Two of those mistakes from Dier have led to goals, and only one Premier League player has made as many errors already in 2022-23 that have proved quite so costly. The trouble for Spurs is that player is Lloris, also with two goal-costing errors.

This was the first time Tottenham had hosted Liverpool while above them in the table since that October 2017 win, and you have to wonder how long Spurs will stay ahead of Sunday's visitors.

They remain fourth for now, seven points adrift of a Liverpool side who have a game in hand on them, and they got what proved to be a classy consolation when Harry Kane rifled home a smart finish from substitute Dejan Kulusevski's pass in the 70th minute.

Kane spoke after the game of there being "tension" in the stands, and admitted Tottenham had been "punished" by Liverpool before building any momentum. The hosts hit the goal frame twice through Ivan Perisic, but Salah also had a glorious second-half chance, squandering the opportunity to seal a hat-trick when he fired straight at Lloris from a handy central position.

He has seven goals in 12 Premier League appearances against Spurs now, but it probably should have been eight.

Antonio Conte's Tottenham team selection had looked conservative, with injuries biting but attacking ambition seemingly in short supply. Kulusevski proved a threat on his return from injury, ripe to be used regularly in the coming weeks if there was not the inconvenience of a World Cup on the near horizon.

Kane's fine goal would have cheered Southgate, while Dier's clumsy error does him no favours ahead of the Qatar 2022 squad selection.

Kane became the first player to score in six consecutive home games for Spurs in the Premier League, but he was fighting a lone battle at times. Like Salah, Kane's class remains unquestionable.

Yet a Tottenham side who have lost three of their last four in the league are in need of a revival. Liverpool's wins over Napoli and now Spurs suggest Klopp's team might be in the early throes of one, but then you remember they lost to Leeds United at Anfield barely a week ago.

After the World Cup, these two sides must resolve their personality crises. More fits, starts and false dawns will mean the mid-table likes of Fulham might not be so easily shaken off.

Antonio Conte is worried Dejan Kulusevski may not feature for Tottenham before the World Cup after the winger suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Kulusevski has not featured for Spurs since last month's 6-2 thrashing of Leicester City, having sustained the injury while on international duty with Sweden – who failed to qualify for the tournament in Qatar.

While the form of Richarlison initially allowed Spurs to cope with Kulusevski's absence, the Brazil attacker limped out of a 2-0 win over his former club Everton last week, leaving Conte short on forward options.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's clash with Newcastle United, Conte said of Kulusevski: "I think we have to wait a bit of time to see him with us, it is the same for Richarlison.

"For sure, this type of situation creates a big, big difficulty. It's normal. For me, also fingers crossed because at the moment we have Harry [Kane] and Sonny [Son Heung-min] in good health.

"I hope they continue to stay that way, or I'll have to think about putting my shoes on to play, me!

"When you go to play Champions League, especially if you play in the Premier League, you have to know that you're going to have a difficult season for injuries, for massive games, for players who become tired."

Asked whether he is concerned Kulusevski may not recover before the Premier League breaks for the World Cup next month, Conte said: "Yes, because his recovery was going well and then one day the situation worsened.

"Then when this type of situation happens, you have to restart. You need time, but we have the medical department to face injury situations, and they have to solve the situation in a short period. If you are able to solve the situation in a short period, it means points in the table."

Tottenham have lost two of their last four Premier League games (W2), suffering as many defeats in that spell as they did in their previous 21 matches in the competition.

Wednesday's 2-0 reverse at Manchester United represented the first time Spurs have failed to score in a Premier League game this season, and led Conte to declare the two sides were operating on "different levels".

Asked whether Tottenham needed to sign another creative presence in the January transfer window, Conte said the club would assess their options during the World Cup break.

"Now, we have to try to finish this period, which for us is really tough," the Italian added. "You have important injuries and you have to face the situation in the best possible way. 

"Then we'll see. We have to arrive until the last game in November and then with the club we'll see the situation, if we have to do something or we continue in the same way."

Dejan Kulusevski believes Antonio Conte's coaching style has been critical in his personal improvement at Tottenham after stagnating with Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus.

Kulusevski rose to prominence during the 2019-20 season when on loan at Parma from Atalanta, with his form in the first half of that campaign persuading Juve to spend €35million on him.

Although he played 55 Serie A games for the Bianconeri after linking up with them ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, Kulusevski struggled to find the same prominence and consistency he enjoyed at Parma.

Spurs struck a deal in January to take the Sweden international on loan for 18 months, and the agreement will become permanent for £29.2m (€32.6m) if certain sporting criteria are met.

Kulusevski quickly made an impression – from the date of his signing until the end of the season, no player registered more assists than his eight in the Premier League, while Kevin De Bruyne (17), Son Heung-min (20) and Harry Kane (21) were the only three individuals to tally more goal involvements than the Swede's 13 over the same period.

Similarly, his three assists this season is third to only De Bruyne (six) and Bukayo Saka (four) – he is finding his feet, and he does not think he could have found such comfort had he stayed at Juventus.

"In football sometimes things simply go wrong. I have not changed anything about myself in recent months: mentally I went always to go on the pitch and gave my best.

"At Juve, however, it didn't work beyond what I tried to do. I didn't feel great for so many different reasons and when you realise that things are not right, then it's difficult to reverse course by staying in the same environment.

"So, the choice to leave Italy was the best I could have made in that situation.

"In England I am great, everything is better than in Turin, both on and off the pitch. As I said, now I really always want to play football."

Kulusevski has no doubt what the key difference is: Conte.

While he did not want to disparage Allegri, Kulusevski feels he has reacted positively to Conte's demands, which have in turn got the best out of him.

Asked if there was a big difference between Allegri and Conte, the winger said: "Honestly, yes.

"I don't want to say that one is better than the other, because I have great respect for both Allegri and Conte and both have won a lot in their careers, but the job and the ideas of ​​football are completely different.

"At Tottenham, you struggle a lot more in the gym and you can see the results. I can say that from Juve to Spurs, the world changed for me.

"I have never met in my life, even outside of football, a motivated person like Antonio Conte. When he speaks to you, he enters your heart by force.

"At Tottenham my body changed – mainly thanks to the exercises in the gym – in no time. We work a lot every day and better than I did in Italy.

"I love how we train in London and for sure the credit goes to our coach: I'm very happy to play for him."

Harry Kane expressed his pride after moving to joint-third in the Premier League's all-time goalscoring charts with a brace in Tottenham's entertaining win over Nottingham Forest.

Kane scored the 200th league goal of his career after just five minutes at the City Ground, and although he saw a second-half penalty saved by Dean Henderson, the England captain atoned by nodding home a late second to secure a 2-0 win.

In doing so, Kane joined Andy Cole on 187 Premier League goals. Only Alan Shearer (260) and Wayne Rooney (208) have now scored more in the competition's history.

Kane described that duo as two of the all-time greats as he looked to take his goalscoring exploits even further after firing Spurs to victory on Sunday.

"It's still a long way away, for sure, but I still feel fit, I feel I have many more years left in the locker," Kane told Sky Sports of Shearer's record.

"Every season I want to score goals, I want to be amongst those names, and I'm excited for the challenge.

"Alan and Wayne are two of the best strikers England have ever had so to even be in that category is nice for me. 

"But for sure, I want to keep pushing myself, see how far I can go, and so far it's been a good start to the season."

Kane's talismanic display followed another record-breaking performance last week, when he surpassed Sergio Aguero to become the highest Premier League goalscorer for a single club in a win over Wolves. 

Meanwhile, having taken 10 points from their first four Premier League games, Spurs have made their best start since they opened the 2009-10 campaign with four consecutive victories.

They have also gone unbeaten through their first four league matches for just the second time in 13 seasons. The last time they did so, in 2016-17, Mauricio Pochettino led them to a second-placed Premier League finish.

And Kane believes Antonio Conte's men are well placed to push for major honours, adding: "I'm not going to rule anything out, but also I know there's a lot of top, top teams in the Premier League and the Champions League.

"Of course, we're aiming to be successful and win something, as I've said for a long, long time now. We just can't get carried away," he added.

"We've started really well, we've got a great squad and a great manager. I can feel amongst the fans a lot of excitement, which is great, but it's a marathon, not a sprint.

"There's a lot of games to play and we've just got to make sure we keep knocking them off and when we're not playing well, keep winning games.

"Obviously we've still got a World Cup, so after the World Cup, we'll see where we're at and go from there."

Kane was assisted by Dejan Kulusevski for the opener before nodding home Richarlison's terrific outside-of-the-boot cross for his second, as the former Everton man impressed after replacing Son Heung-Min from the bench.

With Son failing to find the net this season despite Tottenham's impressive form, Kane hailed the newfound competition in their attack. 

"If you want to be a top team, you're going to have to compete for every position. I think that's what we've created with the squad that we have now," Kane added.

"Richie, whenever he's had an opportunity to play, whenever he's trained, he's done really, really well. He's biting at the bit to play. We have a lot of games coming up so we're going to need everyone.

"I know Sonny might be frustrated with not scoring yet this season, but Sonny's a really important player for us and if we're going to achieve anything this year, we need him to keep doing what he's doing, working for the team. He'll pop up with goals, no doubt.

"When players are maybe not quite at it, you need players from the bench to make an impact and Richie's doing that.

"I think we've got a fantastic manager, we've got a really strong squad. I think we're going to need that squad over the next period until the international break because we've got a game every three or four days.

"It's really important that players coming in who haven't quite started a lot of games yet are ready, but yeah, we're in a good place."

Harry Kane scored twice and missed a penalty as Tottenham maintained their unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest. 

Kane finished beyond Dean Henderson to score the 200th league goal of his career early on, though Spurs were forced to withstand long periods of pressure as Forest produced a lively display.

Antonio Conte's team should have made the points safe when Steve Cook bizarrely handled on his own goal-line 55 minutes in, but Kane's spot-kick was well saved by Henderson to his right.

Yet Kane atoned as he nodded home Richarlison's cross in the 81st minute, making the Spurs striker the Premier League's joint-third highest goalscorer in the process. 

Tottenham needed just five minutes to hit the front through a swift counter-attack, as Kane took Dejan Kulusevski's pass in his stride before stroking into the bottom-left corner from 18 yards out. 

Kane was almost joined on the scoresheet by Son Heung-Min when he bent an effort over the bar 10 minutes later, before the England captain sent a low strike narrowly wide of the bottom-right corner.

But Forest gave as good as they got, going close through long-range efforts from Lewis O'Brien and Morgan Gibbs-White before the break.

Forest should have levelled when Ryan Yates headed Gibbs-White's cross narrowly wide, but were then indebted to Henderson for making his second penalty save of the season to deny Kane after Cook's handball.

However, the Manchester United loanee's heroics ultimately counted for nothing when Richarlison's outside-of-the-foot cross provided Kane with a simple finish to wrap up a win that marks Tottenham's best start to a season since 2009-10.

What does it mean? Solid Spurs keep up strong start

While Tottenham's early-season performances have not always been convincing, they have gone unbeaten through their first four Premier League games for just a second time in the last 13 years.

The last time Spurs did so (when picking up eight points in 2016-17), Mauricio Pochettino led them to a second-placed finish and their first defeat of the season came after 13 games. Their promising results will raise hopes Conte can lead them to a similar achievement this term.

Kane brings up another landmark

Having broken the Premier League's one-club goalscoring record against Wolves last week, Kane needed just five minutes to score his 200th league goal on Sunday, later recovering from a missed penalty to net for the 187th time in the Premier League.

It puts him joint third in the Premier League's all-time goalscoring charts, alongside Andy Cole. Only Alan Shearer (260) and Wayne Rooney (208) are now ahead of the England captain, who has scored against 31 of the 32 teams he has faced in the Premier League. Only Brentford have prevented him from finding the net, doing so twice.

Dejan-vu as Kulusevski creates again

Kulusevski made a valuable contribution to Spurs' successful bid for a top-four finish after arriving from Juventus in January, and the Sweden international has picked up where he left off this season.

After laying on the opener, the 22-year-old has two Premier League assists this season and 10 since his debut in February. No other player has teed up as many goals in the competition in that time.

What's next?

Tottenham face London rivals West Ham in their next Premier League outing on Wednesday, while Forest visit champions Manchester City.

Tottenham's Dejan Kulusevski has revealed head coach Antonio Conte wants him to "kill the opponent in a sporting way" in order to become more ruthless.

Spurs sit fourth in the Premier League having won two and drawn one of their opening three games as they look to follow up last season's fourth-place finish, where a strong run at the end meant they pipped fierce rivals Arsenal to the final Champions League qualification spot.

Kulusevski has impressed since arriving from Juventus at the beginning of the year and has started this campaign well, scoring and assisting in the opening day 4-1 victory over Southampton.

But the 22-year-old says Conte is demanding even more from him, despite the versatile winger having 15 Premier League goal involvements in 21 appearances since his arrival in North London in January.

"I can attack the goal more for sure. Sometimes I'm just in a different world when I play," Kulusevski told Standard Sport. "I feel so comfortable sometimes, so I just play and have fun. But [Conte] doesn't want me to have fun. He wants me to kill the opponent in a sporting way.

"I feel very good. I think I can do better but the important thing is always to be humble, to work harder because we have a goal this season and I think we can do it.

"For sure it's easier with a pre-season. You have more time to adapt. Last season you came into the game and you had one chance. If you played bad you did not play again. It was more pressure. Now I feel much better, a better start and physically in better form."

Spurs' strong opening to the season has been aided by their threat from set-pieces, with Harry Kane scoring headers from corners in successive games after bagging against Chelsea and then Wolves at the weekend.

And Kulusevski has playfully suggested that new set-piece coach Gianni Vio should be asking for a better contract because of Tottenham's newfound potency from dead-ball situations.

"I told [Vio] three times that we have to give him more money. He has to get a pay rise for sure! Shout out to him. He's very important," Kulusevski added.

"He makes a difference, like you can see. At the end of the day, we won on a set-piece so we have to keep working on that. It's not the funnest thing in the world but it makes results. It helps a lot. We have to keep listening to him and do what he says.

"I don't remember that we scored so many [from set-pieces] last season but it's very important. Now we have to get better. Every time we get a set-piece we have to believe we can score."

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte had particular praise for Dejan Kulusevski's "big impact" from following a dominant win over Southampton.

A 4-1 victory in north London on Saturday marked Spurs' biggest opening-day victory since beating Aston Villa 3-0 in August 1986.

Kulusevski was the star of the show, assisting Ryan Sessegnon's equaliser before adding his own name to the scoresheet in the second half, taking his impressive Premier League record to six goals and nine assists in 17 matches.

He crafted three chances for team-mates and finished with a hugely impressive 92.1 per cent passing accuracy, while also making four tackles – proof of his ability to work back defensively.

"Dejan made a big impact but also last season. He and Rodrigo [Bentancur] integrated really good with the squad," Conte told BBC Sport.

"Dejan has continued in this way but he has to continue to work in this way with his behaviour and ambition. 

"He has a lot of ambition – he wants to become one of the best players in his role. I think this ambition is good, if he is humble and works to continue to work he can do that."

Spurs' win came without Conte handing starts to any of his six additions so far in the transfer window and believes the performance displays the work he has undergone with the squad in recent months.

"It was a perfect start for us, despite going behind. We started well because we were leading the game but we conceded a goal but after this we continue to play and we continued to believe in what we are working on in the training sessions," he added.

"I liked the game a lot for the result but especially the way in which the result was created – creating many chances to score, good possession, good high and medium pressure and we were good when we lost the ball and the intensity to try and get it back.

"I saw a lot of positive things, but we are only in the first game. Today we have seen summer work with my players."

Tottenham fought back to beat Southampton 4-1 and get their 2022-23 campaign off to a winning start, with Dejan Kulusevski proving key.

Antonio Conte elected not to hand starts to his new signings, five of which were on the bench while Richarlison served a one-match suspension, but the old guard proved to be fully capable on Saturday.

James Ward-Prowse volleyed Southampton into an early lead but Spurs hit back before half-time – Ryan Sessegnon and Eric Dier both heading home to turn the tide.

Further gloss was added in the second half, with Mohammed Salisu turning the ball into his own net before Kulusevski capped off a fine individual display with a goal as Spurs eased their way to all three points.

Southampton came flying out the blocks and took the lead with in the 12th minute, as Moussa Djenepo clipped a byline cross to Ward-Prowse, who finished in style.

Spurs were soon level, though, with Sessegnon on hand at the far post to head in Kulusevski's inviting cross.

The hosts' dominance paid dividends with a second 10 minutes later – Son Heung-min the provider as his corner was headed in by Dier.

With Spurs in full flow, Ben Davies tested Gavin Bazunu from distance and Son drilled over after dancing through Southampton's defence.

Any threat of a Southampton comeback was quelled in the second half, with Salisu diverting Emerson Royal's cross into his own net.

Having teed up Spurs's equaliser and generally proving a menace throughout, Kulusevski grabbed a deserved goal of his own just after the hour, cutting inside and sweeping home a left-footed shot to wrap up a statement victory for Conte.

It may feel like it has only been away for a few weeks, but the Premier League is back on Friday, meaning time is running out for you to get your fantasy team into shape.

With all the transfers and new teams to keep track of, getting a fantasy team that you're happy with on the opening day can be a tricky task.

Has the new striker settled? Can the promoted defence remain solid in a higher division? That guy scored goals in another country, but can he translate that form to the Premier League?

There is lots to take into account, but Stats Perform have crunched the Opta numbers in the aim of giving you a hand, so here are four picks that might be worth considering…

JOSE SA (Leeds United v Wolves)

The likes of Alisson and Ederson might be more likely to get clean sheet points for you, but many fantasy football players see goalkeeper as an area to save a bit of cash.

Sa could be a solid option to consider if that sounds like you. The Portuguese keeper prevented more goals than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League last season (8.5), according to expected goals data – the next best was David de Gea with 2.8.

Similarly, only Alisson (76) had a better save percentage (75) than Sa (minimum 1,000 minutes played), highlighting just how dependable he was when called upon.

REECE JAMES (Everton v Chelsea)

Even though he missed a chunk of the season through injury, James was a standout performer when he was fit.

His 14 goal involvements (five goals, nine assists) was a joint-Premier League high among defenders alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold, though the latter played almost 1,000 minutes more.

That haul gave him an average of one goal involvement every 133 minutes. Of all the defenders to play at least 90 minutes, that was the best record. He might be pricey, but James could be a real asset.

DEJAN KULUSEVSKI (Tottenham v Southampton)

It is not easy to come into a team mid-season and impress almost instantly, but that's essentially what Kulusevski did last term, proving a hugely reliable player as Tottenham went on to clinch Champions League qualification.

The service he provided to his fellow attackers was invaluable as he recorded eight assists – between his debut on February 9 and the end of the season, no Premier League player set up more goals.

He also chipped in with five goals of his own, giving him a goal involvement total (13) that was only bettered by Karry Kane, Son Heung-min (both 19) and Kevin De Bruyne (15) over the same period.

If he can reach that level again, Kulusevski will be a fantasy favourite.

GABRIEL JESUS (Crystal Palace v Arsenal)

Most people will be making Erling Haaland their main choice in attack – you can't blame anyone for that, but he does have a certain cost.

Jesus may have only left Manchester City because of Haaland, but the early indications are the Brazil international and Arsenal could be a great marriage. He'll be cheaper than the man who has replaced him at the Etihad Stadium, too.

But also, we shouldn't overlook how good a player Jesus – who scored seven in five pre-season games – actually is. After all, only once before has he managed more goal involvements (16) than he did last season, and he was mostly playing from the right wing.

Additionally, his minutes per goal involvement ratio in the Premier League (minimum 1,000 minutes played) since his debut is the fifth best (107) – now he'll be a regular starter, and many expect him to blossom.

Antonio Conte heaped praise on the versatility and quality of Tottenham signing Richarlison after his first appearance for the Premier League side.

Spurs are in South Korea to start their pre-season, where they defeated a select XI from the K-League 6-3 on Wednesday.

Conte has already made five new additions to his side for the upcoming campaign, though Richarlison was the only one of those to feature at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.

The Brazil international played 77 minutes before his removal, with attacking partners Harry Kane and home favourite Son Heung-min stealing the show with two goals each.

Richarlison, who scored (10) and assisted (five) more Premier League goals than any other Everton player in the 2021-22 season, operated across the front three in his first showing.

Dejan Kulusevski, Bryan Gil and Lucas Moura are all competing with Richarlison for the final spot in attack for Conte, who hailed numerous features of his new arrival's debut.

"Today I have seen a lot of positive things about Richy," Conte told reporters.

"In the first half he played as a number nine and in the second half he played on the right and in behind the striker. He can play in all three positions.

"I think he is strong physically and a good personality, good character, good quality. For Richy he is working and we are working on the tactical aspects with him because he has to go into our idea.

"At the same time we have to work on the physical aspects for him to be fit. But for sure he is a player that gives me important positions up front.

"He's a player that is a good player, strong and very good to protect the ball and attack the space. I'm very happy that we signed him."

Fellow arrivals Yves Bissouma and back-up goalkeeper Fraser Forster missed the pre-season opener due to COVID-19, while Clement Lenglet has not travelled and Ivan Perisic is yet to be fit enough.

Conte assures former Inter star Perisic will soon be available, though, and explained regular starters Kulusevski and Ben Davies were absent as they build-up their fitness.

"For Ben it was the second training session and he needed to recover and run and do the same training as the players did in the last two days. It was the same for Kulusevski," the Italian added.

"We had a problem with COVID, with Bissouma and Fraser because the test was positive. For this reason they weren't here with us. Yes, [they are isolating].

"Perisic is working very well. He's very close. I think tomorrow he could have a part of the training session with us.

"Honestly we are satisfied because his recovery is going very fast and we are happy about this and when we come back in London he will start to have some of the training session with us."

Tottenham face Sevilla at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on Saturday before clashing with Rangers and Roma ahead of their Premier League opener at home to Southampton on August 6.

Son Heung-min scored twice as Tottenham sealed their place in next season's Champions League with a thumping 5-0 win over Norwich City.

Antonio Conte's side went into the game knowing a draw would be enough to secure fourth spot given their far superior goal difference over fifth-placed Arsenal, but nothing less than a win looked likely after Dejan Kulusevski's early opener.

Spurs continued to dominate at Carrow Road after that and Harry Kane added a second before half-time following a howler from Tim Krul.

The impressive Kulusevski grabbed his second midway through the second half, before Son - who was chasing the golden boot - scored two excellent goals to move onto 23 goals in the top flight this season.

Kulusevski gave Spurs a deserved lead in the 16th minute, the Sweden international stroking in via a deflection off Jacob Lungi Sorensen after being teed up by Rodrigo Bentancur.

Spurs doubled their advantage in the 32nd minute when Kane headed in from eight yards from Bentancur's first-time cross following a dismal kick out by Krul.

The Norwich goalkeeper twice denied Son after the break, before Kulusevski saw a tame effort cleared off the line after he had rounded Krul. 

The on-loan Juventus forward was not to be denied in the 64th minute, though, as he whipped into Krul's top-right corner from 15 yards. 

Son stroked into Krul's bottom-left corner from Lucas Moura's clever pass in the 70th minute to make it four, with the South Korea international then curling in from 25 yards five minutes later to add further gloss to the scoreline. 

We are in the home stretch in the Premier League, which means everything is at stake – in the fantasy leagues, that is.

It is that time of the year when fantasy managers start to go over which games matter at opposite ends of the table to maximise points hauls.

Stats Perform has you covered with some Opta-powered recommendations below, so here are our suggestions for a new goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and striker.

EDERSON (Manchester City v Newcastle United)

Following their dramatic Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid, there is a possibility Manchester City players might actually breathe fire on Sunday against Newcastle United.

It will likely mean sporadic and low-quality opportunities for the Toon and, ultimately, light work for Ederson in City's goal.

Another clean sheet for the Brazil international will see him record at least 20 in a Premier League season for the second time, the last being in 2018-19. The next best to Ederson's 90 clean sheets since 2017-18 is Liverpool's Alisson, with 64.

GABRIEL MAGALHAES (Arsenal v Leeds United)

Arsenal's Champions League hopes could hinge on this weekend, with nearest rivals Tottenham coming up against Liverpool. The Gunners need points against favourable opponents.

Only Chelsea's Reece James (five) has scored more Premier League goals for defenders this season than Gabriel's four for Arsenal, with all of them coming from corner situations.

With that in mind, Leeds are one of the five sides in the Premier League this season to have conceded at least 10 goals from corners.

DEJAN KULUSEVSKI (Liverpool v Tottenham)

However, Arsenal's need to pick up points against Leeds does not mean Tottenham players are off-limits, and Antonio Conte's side on the counter-attack are a tough proposition for any club in Europe.

Dejan Kulusevski has come to life at Spurs after a middling spell at Juventus, with no player in Europe's top five leagues providing more assists since his first start in the Premier League. 

On top of Kulusevski's eight assists, only Son Heung-min (15) and Harry Kane (14) have been involved in more Premier League goals than him (11) over the same period.

RICHARLISON (Leicester City v Everton)

Leicester's struggles in possession once again came to the fore on Thursday against Roma, and on Sunday they will have to back up against one of the Premier League's most dynamic players in transition.

Richarlison has almost single-handedly propelled Everton's push for Premier League survival, with six involvements in their last eight goals.

At this rate (12 goal involvements), the Brazil international is on track to match his tally of 16 from the 2019-20 season.

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