English Premiership

Kane back to boost Tottenham title hopes

2017-04-07 16:26
Harry Kane (Getty Images)

London - Tottenham striker Harry Kane could start against Watford on Saturday after recovering faster than expected from an ankle injury, said manager Mauricio Pochettino, who may though have to deploy his third-choice goalkeeper.

The return of Kane, who has missed Spurs' last three matches, will buoy their distant hopes of making up the seven-point gap on Premier League leaders Chelsea in the title run-in.

"Harry's had a few sessions before and today he was involved with the team," Pochettino said Friday, the eve of the clash at White Hart Lane.

"And we'll see tomorrow whether he will start the game or be on the bench. But it's good news that he's ready. He feels good for his recovery.

"It's very good news for him and for us. He's an important player for us and for him to be available for us is great."

Kane has hit 19 league goals this season as Spurs emerged as the main challengers to Chelsea.

They coped admirably in his absence but Pochettino called the England international "a special player, he tries to push himself a lot".

"What Harry means for the team is a massive boost for us and it's fantastic news," the coach added.

"He's always desperate to play, he's always pushing you to try to let him train, play and score goals. His character is unbelievable."

Pochettino said he had no concerns about the prospect of third-choice goalkeeper Pau Lopez's possible senior debut.

First-choice Hugo Lloris is struggling with a virus and regular deputy Michel Vorm is trying to overcome a knee problem.

It means that 22-year-old Lopez, a Spain under-21 international on loan from Espanyol, could feature against Watford as Spurs bid to be crowned champions of England for the first time since 1961.

"Pau Lopez is very young but he's here because we believe in and trust in him," Pochettino said.

"If Hugo or Michel are not ready he's a keeper that can cope with the pressure of playing."

Earlier this week Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said while there was an "expectation" at his club they would be title-contenders, it would "not be a disaster" for Tottenham if they yet again missed out on lifting the Premier League trophy.

"I can understand, it's true that when you are seven points above the second team in the table, it is normal for them to win the league," Pochettino said. "Now it's up to them to win the league.

"We are in a position that we need to do our job, winning games and put pressure (on).

"But it's true that after eight games (left) if they don't win the Premier League, it will be tough for them to accept."

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Watford v Liverpool, Vicarage Road Stadium 21:00
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