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Kane may be too big a risk to start, says Armstrong


Big warning: Gerry Armstrong
Big warning: Gerry Armstrong

By Graham Luney

Gerry Armstrong believes Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino will be taking a big gamble if he starts Harry Kane in tonight's Champions League final.

The England striker is recovering from an ankle injury he sustained on April 9 against Manchester City.

Former Spurs frontman and Northern Ireland legend Armstrong feels the 25-year-old (below) will be lacking match fitness and could be better used as a potential hero on the substitutes' bench.

The big call makes the teamsheets interesting reading in Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano tonight.

"I think it's a big gamble to start with Harry Kane," said Armstrong, who made 84 league appearances for Spurs, scoring 10 goals following his arrival in 1975.

"He's their outstanding striker but he's not match fit and that's the gamble for Pochettino.

"I think he might leave him on the bench and bring him on if he needs him.

"Look at Liverpool and Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum won the game against Barcelona and they probably won't be starting.

"It could be the substitutes' bench that wins the game. It is a very close game to call."

Northern Ireland's 1982 World Cup hero was spotted by Tottenham and brought to London in November 1975 for £25,000.

He was part of the squad that saw Spurs relegated to Division Two in 1977, but helped the club return to the First Division within a season before leaving to join Watford in 1980.

"I think there's a bit more pressure on Liverpool because of what happened last season when they lost the final to Real Madrid," added Armstrong.

"A few mistakes from the goalkeeper Loris Karius cost them and a wonder goal from Gareth Bale sunk them.

"That could happen again but it's anybody's and it should be a great game, I'm looking forward to it and it would be wrong to say either side is a firm favourite."

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