We are now less than a week away from the biggest game in Tottenham Hotspur’s history when the club will fight it out against Liverpool for the honour of being crowned European champions.
The three-week break between the end of the Premier League and the big final has given several of Tottenham’s important players time to recover for the big game.
Tottenham’s talisman Harry Kane has been out of action since picking up his second ankle injury of the season in the 1st leg of the round of the quarter final tie against Manchester City but is expected to be fit for the final (Daily Mail).
However, former Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas has suggested that Kane should not start the match as he will be lacking match sharpness.
In a column for the Daily Mail, Jenas wrote: “Harry Kane will start the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday. I just can’t envisage him not walking out with the team at the Wanda Metropolitano as part of the starting XI.
“However, I don’t think he should start. There is no way he will be 100 per cent fit. By which I mean his conditioning and sharpness will not be at their best. He may be able to run unrestricted, but that’s not the same.
“I know he scored six in the first seven games back from injury earlier this year, including in the first game against Burnley. But for a game of this magnitude I think Spurs need to pick their moment to use him.”
The former England international suggested that introducing Kane in the final thirty minutes of the game would allow the center forward to find space, which will likely be missing early on in the game.
He added, “There was a rhythm to pretty much every big game I played in. The game starts at a hundred miles an hour when everyone is fresh and quick. In that period, you don’t get much space.
“When you hit the hour mark, gaps start to appear as fatigue begins. Gaps between midfield and defence become bigger. And, crucially, this is the period of the game that is usually decisive.
“If I was Mauricio Pochettino, I would use Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min to run the centre halves to death, pulling them into the channels as much as possible. Those two have proved they can score goals and how dangerous they are. Then, as the hour approaches, you can deploy Kane, either replacing Moura or Son, or, if you are chasing the game, you can leave them all on.
“If you play it that way, you’re saying to Harry: ‘Give me everything you have for half an hour (or more if extra time). You shouldn’t have to worry about the injury. Go out there and be as intense as you want to be.’ Which is Harry Kane at his best.
“Do you get the better of Virgil van Dijk when you’re not 100 per cent? Wait until he fatigues a bit and even up the odds. In that final half-hour, the last thing Joel Matip and Van Dijk will want to see is a fresh Harry Kane coming on.”
Spurs Web Opinion
We respectfully disagree with Jenas as Kane even when he is at 75%-80% is one of the best strikers in the world, and given that the final is likely going to be decided based on moments of individual quality, it is vital that Kane is on the pitch for as much time as possible as he can score a goal out of nothing.
Bringing on one of Moura or Son in the final thirty minutes when the opposition has tired legs, would be the way to go.
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