As Chelsea prepare to take on Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday, opposition manager Antonio Conte has labelled Spurs’ Harry Kane as “one of the best strikers in the world”.
Tottenham are set to be without their star man as they look to bring to end their 29-year wait for a win at Stamford Bridge, as the striker continues to recover from ankle ligament damage.
However, Mauricio Pochettino refused to rule out the possibility of Kane making a shock return to face their bitter London rivals.
“One of the best strikers in the world”
Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his sides second goal and his 100th Premier League goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on February 4, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
For the Italian manager, it is just as well the 24-year-old is missing, as only Didier Drogba has scored as many Premier League goals in London derbies as Kane.
Despite Spurs potentially missing Kane on Sunday, Conte has warned his side that the North Londoners remain a strong threat, with their squad of regular internationals.
“I think that we are talking about one of the best strikers in the world. I consider him one of the best strikers in the world,”
“When you have a striker to score every season 30 goals, for sure, you will miss this type of player. You will feel this.
“But at the same time, I think Tottenham is an important team because of the whole team. They have many important players and international players.
“They play good football with a great intensity. Also, in the past, they showed that despite Kane being missing, in many games, nothing has changed.”
Chelsea vs Tottenham preview
2018 has so far been a tough year for Antonio Conte, with his Chelsea side sliding out of both the top-four and Europe.
The West Londoners are currently sat 5th in the Premier League and must make up a five-point gap on Spurs as they attempt to qualify for Champions League football next season.
Over recent years, Chelsea have proven just how much this fixture means to them, with the Blues always managing to find a way to frustrate Spurs, whatever their form and Sunday is likely to be no exception.
Last season, this fixture helped Chelsea to build the foundations to go on and clinch the Premier League title ahead of Tottenham.
This time, avoiding defeat for Spurs is a must in order to prevent a late surge for the top-four from the Blues.
1990 was the year Spurs last won at the Bridge – a period in which has seen them endure 18 defeats and nine draws.
Tottenham will also be attempting to bring to end this long wait for a win without their star man Harry Kane who looks set to remain sidelined with ankle ligament damage.
Read 101 Great Goals’ full match preview for Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur here.