Fulham taking nothing for granted as they test Tottenham without Harry Kane
Spurs head to Craven Cottage on Sunday without top-scorer Kane.
Fulham will be the first team to test Tottenham’s mettle without Harry Kane, but manager Claudio Ranieri is taking nothing for granted.
Spurs head to Craven Cottage on Sunday without top-scorer Kane, who faces two months on the sidelines with the ankle injury he suffered against Manchester United last weekend.
With Son Heung-min also absent, on international duty with South Korea at the Asian Cup, Spurs have lost the source of almost half of their 46 Premier League goals so far this season.
There is no doubt Tottenham have leant heavily on Kane in recent seasons but, contrary to popular belief, Ranieri believes they have plenty in reserve.
“Harry Kane is fantastic, an unbelievable striker, and Son was in very good condition,” said Ranieri.
“But there are some good players. Tottenham is a fantastic team. They are fighting for four competitions.
“OK Harry Kane, he doesn’t play now, so play Erik Lamela, play Lucas Moura. There are so many champions.
“For me it is important to prepare the team very well.”
Fulham remain in a precarious position in the relegation zone following last weekend’s 2-1 defeat against Burnley.
Fulham actually found the net three times at Turf Moor but, unfortunately for them, twice it was the wrong net.
However, Ranieri refuses to feel sorry for himself and insists Fulham need to make their own luck.
“My philosophy is always you have to fight, in every job. Because if you don’t fight you are the loser,” he said.
“I can lose a match. I want to fight until the end. I lose a match and there is another match. I want to restart. Again, again, again. At the end I have to win.
“This is my philosophy. Never give in. Never.
“I can lose, it’s OK. I shake the hands of my opponent. ‘Well done’. But after that I restart, stronger than before.”
Ranieri will hand a debut to new signing Ryan Babel, probably from the bench, against Spurs.