Belfast Telegraph

Spurs still pose huge threat in absence of Kane, insists Lloris

Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Huddersfield Town

Hat-trick hero: Lucas Moura celebrates against Huddersfield
Hat-trick hero: Lucas Moura celebrates against Huddersfield

By Ben Pearce

Captain Hugo Lloris says Lucas Moura's hat-trick against Huddersfield shows Tottenham have the pace and firepower to hurt Manchester City at the Etihad on Wednesday.

Spurs were missing the injured Harry Kane and Dele Alli on Saturday, but Lucas struck three times in a 4-0 home win, boosting his chances of starting the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final.

Mauricio Pochettino's side will be preparing for a siege as they defend a 1-0 aggregate lead.

But an away goal would leave City needing to score three times, and Lloris believes Lucas and Heung-Min Son can land that vital blow.

"They have different profiles," he said. "Of course we would prefer to have Harry but every time the gaffer gives the chance to Lucas and to Son they respond very well. They've scored important goals this season.

"It was so good for Lucas to get three goals against Huddersfield. We're going to probably have a lot of space to use against Manchester City so we need the attacking players to be ready to run and give problems to their defence.

"It's all about confidence - to respect the opponent of course but also to go out there with personality.

"It's a huge game. It's the type of game all players want to play in. It will be even bigger battle than last Tuesday.

It's going to be about details, the same as the first leg. We need everything for that game - experience, nerve and spirit."

Son scored in four successive matches when Kane was last sidelined, including the opener in the 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the last round of the Champions League.

The South Korean also set up Lucas's final goal on Saturday, having only just appeared as an 87th-minute substitute, but he insists he is not feeling pressure to be Spurs' talisman against City.

"Everyone, not just me, should enjoy the games," he said.

"We shouldn't put this pressure on ourselves about these situations. Of course Harry's a big miss for us but we have a big squad. Lucas showed that with three goals, it's not easy.

"We have to go there and do what we did last Tuesday. There's nothing better than the Champions League quarter-finals at the moment so we should just enjoy the moment and the game, but we should fight."

Victor Wanyama has strengthened his claim for involvement at the Etihad after his performance against Huddersfield. Having missed much of the campaign due to a knee problem, the Kenyan midfielder made only his second start of 2019 and scored the opening goal.

"It's been a difficult season for me in terms of injuries," he said. "It was just frustrating, getting behind. It's difficult trying to get fit and I saw the season is going quickly. I'm glad I've put that behind me and now I'm getting stronger and getting back to my best.

"We have a good team spirit. We work well as a team and if we're focused and we give everything then I don't think anyone can beat us."

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