Belfast Telegraph

There's little risk to starting Kane, says Pochettino

By Jon Wardles

Harry Kane is in line to start for Tottenham at Arsenal tomorrow in his first game since being stretchered off against Sunderland on September 18. Head coach Mauricio Pochettino confirmed that the England striker had come through a rigorous training session on Thursday unscathed and was fit to play at the Emirates Stadium.

And given that Tottenham have not won any of the six games since beating Manchester City 2-0 on October 2, it would be no surprise if the Argentinian opted against easing him in gently from the bench, especially as Kane has four north London derby goals to his name so far.

"It is not a risk to play him," Pochettino said. "If he is on the pitch or bench it's because we're sure it's not a risk to play him. In football you can't avoid risk because it's a contact sport, the doctor said he is available.

"In the last two seasons he has been very important for us, our top scorer. For us it will be very good news that he will be back.

"It is true he has a good record against Arsenal. It is important that he is back and can help the team get a good result."

Tottenham will kick off as the Premier League's only unbeaten team but, as usual, they find themselves below their neighbours, who overtook them on the final day of last season to maintain a 25-year sequence of supremacy.

Pochettino all but admitted that this was because the Gunners, habitual Champions League qualifiers and more regular lifters of silverware despite no league title wins since 2004, were actually the bigger club.

"After 20 years Arsene Wenger is doing a great job and Arsenal are one of the most consistent clubs in the world," he said. "It is difficult to compare with a club like that, we cannot compare ourselves with Arsenal.

"We want to be one of the best, great clubs in the world but still we are building a training ground, new stadium and our squad, that's important. But when you compete you put all those things away."

Tottenham were neither aggressive nor impressive at Wembley on Wednesday night, when they were beaten 1-0 by Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League. Pochettino made it clear he expected more.

"It's a different game, you can't compare it with the Champions League," he said. "But we were very disappointed with Wednesday - we all know we were poor.

"But we are young and in a process. The club are building up a stadium that would be the best in England or Europe and the team is in the same process. We set the barrier finding a better way to play for players who can be here for the next few seasons."

Tottenham will be without injured trio Jan Vertonghen, Ben Davies and Erik Lamela and Mousa Dembele is a doubt because of an ankle injury.

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