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Friday 22 June 2018

Pochettino sweats over Kane fitness

Striker a doubt for clash at United with hamstring strain as ex-Red Ferdinand says Spurs will struggle without Harry

Tottenham striker Harry Kane clutches his hamstring after being substituted by manager Mauricio Pochettino in last Sunday’s Premier League win over Liverpool at Wembley. Photo: PA Wire
Tottenham striker Harry Kane clutches his hamstring after being substituted by manager Mauricio Pochettino in last Sunday’s Premier League win over Liverpool at Wembley. Photo: PA Wire

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino could be without his star striker Harry Kane for tomorrow's Premier League showdown against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Kane was one of the many changes made by Pochettino for Wednesday night's dramatic League Cup defeat to West Ham at Wembley.

When asked after the game about Kane's fitness for tomorrow's clash, the Argentinian said: "We'll see, we'll see."

Pochettino added: "We need to assess the team because we were forced to rotate (against West Ham) for different reasons and we'll see what happens in the next few days."

Pochettino's counterpart Jose Mourinho has injury problems of his own, but was boosted by the appearance of Phil Jones and Marcus Rashford in training yesterday.

Phil Jones trained yesterday after going off injured in last Saturday’s defeat at Huddersfield. Photo: PA Wire
Phil Jones trained yesterday after going off injured in last Saturday’s defeat at Huddersfield. Photo: PA Wire

Rashford trained in spite of media reports which claimed he was a doubt for the Spurs game, after the England striker was substituted in the second half of Tuesday's 2-0 League Cup win over Swansea City.

Jones, who came off at Huddersfield Town last Saturday and was an unused substitute in midweek, was also among the players working in front of the club photographers and television cameras.

Another recently-injured defender, Eric Bailly, also took part in yesterday's training session. The Ivory Coast international has not played for United since the late September win in Moscow but, speaking before the Huddersfield match, Mourinho suggested the centre-back could be ready to return this week.

Meanwhile, former United defender Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Spurs have "no chance" of winning the Premier League title without Kane.

Ferdinand, who lifted the Premier League trophy six times with United, believes that Spurs are genuine title contenders, but only with Kane in the team.

"If Harry Kane stays fit then yeah; if Harry Kane gets injured, no chance," Ferdinand said. "They've got no one to replace him who's going to get that amount of goals. He's a talisman. He's not all Tottenham, don't get me wrong - I'm not saying they're a one-man team - but to go and win a league you need a number nine who's going to be banging in goals.

"Outside of Harry Kane in that squad I don't really see anyone else doing it."

Kane has won the Premier League golden boot in each of the last two seasons and is the division's top scorer this campaign with eight goals in nine matches.

His deputy, Fernando Llorente, has yet to score for Tottenham since joining from Swansea City this summer.

Son Heung-min is another option to lead the Spurs line against United if Kane is not available.

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