Monday 18 February 2019

Harry's fit for battle with Real

Spurs manager is 'very confident' striker will make Wembley clash

Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Son Heung-min are pictured in training ahead of tonight’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid at Wembley
Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Son Heung-min are pictured in training ahead of tonight’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid at Wembley
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is pictured in training at Wembley ahead of tonight’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has declared himself "very confident" Harry Kane will be fit enough to face Real Madrid in the Champions League tonight.

Kane took part in training yesterday morning and showed no visible sign of the hamstring injury that kept him out of Saturday's defeat at Manchester United.

The striker was able to complete some short sprints and basic passing drills at Hotspur Way while at one point he made a hand gesture appearing to suggest he felt fine.

"We're very confident," Pochettino said. "He's on the list. Maybe it's possible for him to play but I don't want to say 100 per cent.

"He trained today but it is important we make the right decision."

Kane's return at Wembley would represent a massive boost for Tottenham given the 24-year-old has scored five goals in his three European games so far.


But Pochettino will also be wary of causing further damage, with a north London derby against Arsenal and crunch trip to Borussia Dortmund among their November fixtures.

Jan Vertonghen insists, even without Kane, Spurs can overcome Madrid.

"Harry is a very important player on and off the pitch for this group and having him is always a major boost but definitely we can beat them," Vertonghen said.

"With or without Harry Kane, we go for the win."

Pochettino will at least have the attacking threat of Dele Alli to call upon, with the 21-year-old again available after missing Tottenham's first three Champions League games through suspension.

Alli travelled with the squad to Madrid last month, a move aimed at making the youngster feel included.

"When a player is not involved, you feel a little bit down," Pochettino said.

"Sometimes he had to stay at the training ground, alone, training. It was not easy for anyone. Maybe he was affected a little bit about that.

"Now we're so happy with the way he's doing. His internal motivation is higher now, to try to compete at his best level. We're very happy with his performances, he's increasing his level.

"I'm not worried about him. It's true, he's disappointed too that he's not at his best."

Tottenham sit level with Madrid on seven points in Group H and it would appear a good time to play the European champions, who slipped to a shock LaLiga defeat against Girona on Sunday.

They will also be without injured trio Gareth Bale, Keylor Navas and Raphael Varane at Wembley but Pochettino is taking nothing for granted.

"We're not going to watch anything related to Girona. We only analyse the Champions League games and 15 days ago when we play against them," Pochettino said. "I think Real Madrid have the capacity and quality to change completely in two days."

Real boss Zinedine Zidane warned Tottenham he thrives under pressure and that his side cannot wait to put right Sunday's surprise defeat to Girona.

"After a defeat, of course people aren't happy, but in some ways I actually like this," Zidane said. "I like having the motivation of a big match so we can get back to winning ways. This is something that inspires me.

"When the going gets tough I think I work my best. Life is like this, there are always hard moments, but you have to trust in the way you work and come back stronger."

Madrid defender Marcelo insists the striker's availability is not on their minds.

"It does not make for me a big difference," the Brazil full-back said. "Harry Kane is a very important player but Tottenham are more than just one player."

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