Tottenham v Southampton preview: Spurs without star man Harry Kane
Last Updated: 19/03/17 2:16pm
Tottenham will be without Harry Kane for the visit of Southampton on Super Sunday, as the striker recovers from an ankle injury.
Kane feels optimistic about his ankle injury and has joked about returning in less than a month, according to Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Southampton are currently firmly in mid-table, and have been inconsistent of late, losing three and winning three of their last six.
Spurs, meanwhile, have won three of their last four in the league.
Kyle Walker twisted his ankle on a day off at home on Monday, while Danny Rose is still recovering from a knee problem.
Pochettino would not divulge the cause of Walker's injury but said the defender had not trained this week and will have to be assessed. He is unlikely, however, to withdraw from the England squad.
Victor Wanyama is also struggling after enduring a "minor problem" against Millwall but Mousa Dembele, who missed the match with an ankle injury, is available. Erik Lamela remains sidelined with a hip injury.
Kane's absence, however, is the biggest concern for Pochettino, given Tottenham endured their worst period of the season while the 23-year-old was out in September and October.
Vincent Janssen and Son Heung-min will be charged with filling the void.
Southampton boss Claude Puel will choose from an unchanged squad at Tottenham.
Striker Charlie Austin is close to resuming training after a shoulder injury and defender Jeremy Pied is also making good progress after a knee operation and could train next week.
Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, full-back Matt Targett and centre-half Virgil van Dijk are still out injured.
Pochettino has lost just one of his five Premier League games against his former team Southampton (W3 D1 L1), although it came in the last meeting at White Hart Lane in May 2016.
Southampton have kept only one clean sheet in their last 25 away league games against Spurs (0-0, Jan 2001), with Paul Jones in goal for Saints that day.
Dele Alli has scored three and assisted one more in two Premier League apps versus Southampton.
Christian Eriksen has netted three goals in three Premier League games against Southampton at White Hart Lane.
Manolo Gabbiadini has found the back of the net in each of his last seven competitive appearances, including all four games for Southampton and in the three prior to his move for Italian side Napoli (nine goals in total).
Gabbiadini could become the third player in Premier League history to score in each of his first four appearances in the competition alongside Mick Quinn and Diego Costa.
Southampton have won their last two Premier League games, netting four goals in each clash. They've not won three in a row since a four-game streak in May 2016, with a victory over Spurs the third win in this run.
Saints last scored four goals in three consecutive league games back in December 1980; a run that also included a 4-4 draw against Spurs at White Hart Lane.
I think Tottenham will be OK without Harry Kane for one or two games, but over a longer sequence of games, I do not think it will be so good. And they need to win this football match in order to cement top four, so if they do not win this game and Kane is also out, I do not see them winning too many other football matches in my opinion.
So it is a must-win game for them, but I think they will do a job without him for one, two or three games. But not for the next eight or nine games if he is out for that long.
But I am going to just go for Tottenham, because at the moment they are playing some very good football, so I am going to go 3-1 to Tottenham.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (12/1 with Sky Bet)
Spurs were just 8/15 to win the match before Harry Kane's injury, which also prompted their Premier League outright odds to drift from 14/1 to 20/1.
Heung-min Son heads the first goalscorer betting in Kane's absence and is 20/1 for another hat-trick, while Manolo Gabbiadini is rated the visitors' main threat at 13/2 to net first.