English Premiership

Prolific Kane to test Arsenal

2015-02-05 14:45
Harry Kane (Supplied)
Harry Kane (Supplied)

London - For all the brilliance of the Premier League's foreign superstars, it's a 21-year-old Englishman who was barely known outside north London before the season that is arguably making the most startling impact this campaign.

Forget Diego Costa, Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sanchez and Robin van Persie. Tottenham striker Harry Kane is the top-scoring player in English football this season with 20 goals in all competitions, and a first call-up to his national squad is surely just around the corner.

No wonder Spurs signed Kane up to a new 5½-year contract this week.

"He just looks to me now like a real monster on the pitch," England assistant coach Gary Neville said.

"He can do it all."

The next defense Kane looks to plunder is Arsenal's in the north London derby on Saturday, one of two match-ups between local rivals in the 24th round of the league. The other comes at Goodison Park where resurgent Liverpool makes the short trip across Stanley Park to visit Everton.

Kane has already shown he is no respecter of reputations this season, with his best game of the season coming against what was at the time the league's meanest defense.

He scored twice in Spurs' 5-3 win over Chelsea on New Year's Day and center backs John Terry and Gary Cahill just couldn't cope with a player who only made his Premier League debut in April last year. Two seasons ago, he was spending time on loan at second-tier teams Norwich and Leicester.

Arsenal's defense has tightened up considerably in recent weeks, coinciding with the return from injury of France international Laurent Koscielny. Arsenal has kept four clean sheets in its last five games and is arguably the form team in the league, tied on points now with fourth-place Southampton.

However, Arsene Wenger's team will need to be at its sharpest to keep out Kane, who has scored eight goals in his last eight league games.

Tottenham will leapfrog its neighbor with a win at White Hart Lane.

With league leader Chelsea and second-place Manchester City facing games against struggling sides in Aston Villa and Hull, respectively, much of the focus this weekend is on the race for the other Champions League qualification spots.

Six teams, separated by seven points, are seemingly fighting for two places — and four of them play direct rivals on Saturday.

Third-place Manchester United visits eighth-place West Ham and it is fifth against sixth when Tottenham hosts Arsenal.



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