Tottenham: Kane returns; defender losing fitness battle; offensive Arsenal will suit Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur face a crucial Champions League clash against Bayer Leverkusen this evening and are boosted by the news that Harry Kane has returned to full training. The Mirror say that Mauricio Pochettino is likely to employ Kane from the bench this evening against Roger Schmidt’s Leverkusen in a game that could well prove decisive.
Spurs have four points after three Champions League games, but two of final three group stages at ‘home’ which puts their fate in their own hands. Pochettino’s side fared quite well in the first 45 minutes of the first meeting in Germany, but were hanging on a little in the second period and had to rely on the excellence of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Schmidt’s men are a hard working outfit who run a lot, and have even been compared to Pochettino’s side.
Kane’s return is a welcome one because Spurs have struggled to score goals from open play in recent weeks, and have drawn three successive games in the league. Vincent Janssen scored his first league goal for the Lilywhites against Leicester on Saturday, but has struggled to fill the void left by Kane.
Heung Min Son was on fire last month but his form, at least from a goalscoring perspective, has tailed off in recent weeks. Kane has scored more than 20 league goals in each of the last two seasons, and that sort of record can’t easily be dismissed. Apart from his goalscoring, Kane’s work rate and link up play will also be a vital asset to Spurs in the coming months.
Despite the fact there is a major European game this evening, attention is already turning to Sunday’s north London derby. The Telegraph reported last night that Toby Alderweireld is losing his race to be fit for the clash at the Emirates, as he still recovers from a knee problem sustained at West Brom.
The Belgium international has been one of the Premier League’s outstanding centre backs since moving to White Hart Lane 15 months ago. Jan Vertonghen looks more vulnerable without his compatriot next to him, and Spurs fans will be anxiously awaiting news ahead of the weekend’s game.
Finally, in further news about Spurs’ trip to Arsenal, Vertonghen says that playing at attacking team could help Spurs gets back to winning ways. Pochettino’s side were very impressive against Manchester City but have struggled to break down deep lying defences. However, Vertonghen is expecting a very different contest at the Emirates on Sunday:
“Normally we do well against teams like that. It will be a very intense game, with both teams playing positive, attacking football.
“At the moment we are probably unlucky in every game we play. We were the better team against Leicester and we deserved to win, but we just can’t win at the moment.
“The teams we have played, like West Brom and Leicester, play the same way. They sit and they wait for a mistake.
“We’ve had some chances in all these matches and we have been unlucky not to take them.”
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Serg Hoholok
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