Liverpool vs Tottenham
There’s only six days to go before Liverpool face Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid.
Liverpool finished the Premier League season in second place behind Man City.
Tottenham ended their domestic campaign in fourth spot.
Chelsea edged out Spurs as the highest finishers in London as the Blues claimed third place.
Prior to next Saturday’s final, both Liverpool and Spurs have confirmed their spots in the 2019-20 Champions League.
Harry Kane injury updates
Tottenham haven’t seen Harry Kane in action for the best part of two months.
The Spurs and England captain was last seen on the pitch during the Champions League quarter-final against Man City.
Kane was forced out of that match with ankle ligament damage.
Will Kane be fit for the Champions League final?
The short answer is yes, however, there’s a split in opinion on Sunday about whether Kane will start against Liverpool.
The Sunday Times tell their readers that Kane is on course to start against the Reds:
Harry Kane is winning his race to make Tottenham’s Champions League final starting line-up with his manager, Mauricio Pochettino, declaring himself “so happy” with the player’s recovery from an ankle injury.
It’s also worth noting that the Sunday Times believe Harry Winks, Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen will also be available in the showpiece.
TOMORROW’S FRONT COVER | Beating the boos: Steve Smith scores century as Australia beat England and says ‘abuse doesn’t bother me’ | Kane on course to play in Champions League final | West Ham offer £18m for Andre Gomes#tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/huTf1NG7Oa
— Sunday Times Sport (@ST_Sport) May 25, 2019
However, in the Star on Sunday, a gloomier outlook is given on Kane.
The tabloid claim that Kane will be benched against Liverpool. The Star announce:
Harry Kane is facing Champions League heartache – with the Tottenham ace set to be on the bench for the final.
Despite now being in contention to start in Madrid on Saturday, he looks certain to be named among the subs for the Liverpool clash.
— Helen Miller (@MsHelicat) May 25, 2019
What Mauricio Pochettino’s said about Kane vs Liverpool
As detailed in the Mail on Sunday, here’s what the Tottenham manager actually said about Kane this weekend:
We are happy. We are going to assess (Kane), like any other player: like Jan Vertonghen, Harry Winks. Of course, the most important thing is that they have the possibility to be available.
With Harry, Davinson Sanchez, Harry Winks and Jan, the evolution today is very good. We are so happy. We are working very hard. And then it’s going to be our decision to see if they are going to be available to play and if they will be available from the beginning or be on the bench and help the team.
Because the most important thing in a final is not always the starting eleven, maybe people from the bench come on and be the heroes. There are a lot of examples of this.
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Son Heung-min & Lucas Moura
If Kane starts against Liverpool, then Pochettino will have to make a very difficult decision.
South Korean forward Son Heung-min could be dropped against the Reds, despite his brilliant season for Spurs.
Alternatively, Lucas Moura could be benched, after his unbelievable second-half hat-trick against Ajax booked Tottenham a spot in the final.
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Graeme Souness: Harry Kane needs rest
In his weekly column in the Sunday Times, Graeme Souness has advocated for Kane to receive some significant rest.
Indeed, Souness considers whether it’s wise for Kane to start the Champions League final against Liverpool:
Harry Kane strikes me as the type who may need to be protected from himself when it comes to deciding whether he is fit for the Champions League final.
If I was a gambling man, I would bet that Pochettino will have him on the bench. If it’s all going swimmingly, then you don’t use him; but if you need him, you get him on knowing there’s a risk — because there has to be a risk — that he’s not ready.