Tottenham Hotspur V Real Madrid Preview Will Harry Kane be fit?
Tottenham Hotspur face Real Madrid on Wednesday in their Champions League Group H clash at Wembley. Once again, possibly, without goal machine Harry Kane.
All fingers are crossed in North London, after Mauricio Pochettino announced he is hopeful of a return for talisman Kane. In the nick of time to meet Spanish giants Real Madrid at home this week.
Pochettino: My feeling is good
When asked at a press conference following the Manchester United game if Kane would face Madrid in the return leg he replied;
“We must analyse and take the best decision for everyone. We will assess him, and then we will make the decision. My feeling is good. But it’s not my feeling, it’s Harry Kanes’ feeling.”
When asked if he thought it would be disaster for Spurs if Kane didn’t play, hinting that this was the reason for the United loss he replied;
“I told you before, before the game and to everyone, that always you are going to miss your main striker. Harry Kane is one of the best strikers in the world. Of course we will have to assess the player, to see if he can arrive at the game with Real Madrid.”
He was pragmatic about the tie itself, confidently telling the Evening Standard “It’s not like the last game or the final where you would say, Ok after that it’s holidays.”
Star striker Kane tugged a hamstring at the end of their Liverpool 4-1 win, and missed the last two fixtures. Both of which Spurs have lost.
The first was the disastrous result against West Ham at home midweek in the Carabao Cup, squandering a 2-0 lead. The second on Saturday against Manchester United at Old Trafford, agonisingly conceding in the last ten.
17 goals for club and country
Before the injury, Harry Kane had been in explosive form. He has netted 17 goals for club and country, despite scoring none in August. Kane will be desperate himself to play this tie, with no finer team to face, and hope to add to that tally.
85,000 Spurs fans will be also be praying to see a white shirt sporting the number 10, on the hallowed Wembley turf.
There have been fewer more important games in recent years for Spurs, and not just to cancel out the last two disappointment.
All square in Group H
Tottenham are on level terms and points with Madrid, at the top of Group H. A win would see Spurs safely through to the next stage of the competition.
A home is win also conviction they can perform at crucial times. Tottenham have to show they have built on the last two seasons, reaping some reward for the remarkable turnaround since the Pochettino arrival.
They need to show themselves, fans and they need to show the big spenders that they can compete for the Premier League Title, and for silverware.
It’s not about glory, it’s more to show that it’s not just a new stadium that has grown to stand aside those that had engulfed it. It’s that the young team inside it can cope with big game pressure. Or at least they hope.
Onwards and Upwards
Tottenham must complete the climb that has got them here, and finally stand aside those who have overshadowed them. On the pitch and in the continued growth of the club, and metaphorically.
Spurs fans need reward for loyalty shown, and enticement for their current talent to stay. Arguably, theres an opportunity to justify some of that wait. Moreover, to give confidence and impetus for more success against the bigger clubs. A hurdle they have had more difficulty overcoming.
Tottenhams’ Real Test
Tottenhams’ Champions League campaign has so far been successful.
Deleting the memories of last year’s dismal outing, and ending all nonsense of a ‘Wembley Curse.’ Solid wins over Dortmund, Apoel, plus the respectable away draw at the Bernabeu, there’s a chance to progress.
The only other injury concern for Pochettino is Victor Wanyama. Erik Lamela may even appear on the bench. Ben Davies is now fit, and Danny Rose has returned. Mousa Dembele will feature, though doubtful for the full ninety minutes.
Until the announcement that Kane will indeed tie his boots on Wednesday, speculation of the front formation remains just that. Tottenham will be relieved then that ‘Los Blancos’ have had a similar run up to the tie.
Real Madrid not in good form?
Zinedine Zidane’s men are not in good form either. A recent embarrassing defeat to La Liga newcomers Girona, leaves Real Madrid eight points behind current leaders Barcelona. Also slipping to third place in the table behind Valencia.
Madrid could be without key defender Raphael Varane, who also fell victim to the tie. It’s rumoured he has rumoured muscle problems following a knock during the defeat.
Varane is one of Real Madrid’s quickest defenders. Spurs are hoping top gun Harry Kane is loaded and ready to fire, taking advantage of the Frenchmans’ absence.
There are few Spurs fans that aren’t relieved not to see Gareth Bale on the Wembley turf. Injured once more, it’s doubtful he’ll feature against the team he once graced. Luka Modric, also ex-Spurs, however, is available to play.
Folowing the shock loss to Girona, Zidane is confident the Los Blancos will recover in time, and be ready for the Wembley. He told a press conference;
“I have a group that will be ready on Wednesday. You cannot be happy today. Today is a bad day. “
With both teams level in Group H, points and goals, the sell out clash promises the 90,000 capacity crowd a memorable occasion. With notoriously vocal travelling Spanish, there’ll be an atmosphere to relish. Win, lose or draw.
A victory for Tottenham guarantees entry to the next stage, and a winning mind set for the rest of the season.
Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid, Wednesday 1st November, Kick Off 19.45.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 30, 2017