Tottenham v Barcelona preview: Harry Kane not worried about injury crisis
Last Updated: 03/10/18 6:53pm
Harry Kane is confident Tottenham's injury crisis will not derail the side as they prepare to entertain Barcelona in the Champions League at Wembley on Wednesday (kick-off 8pm).
The north London club are looking to bounce back from defeat in their opening Group B clash at Inter Milan last time out, but will be without Christian Eriksen, Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen, Dele Alli and Serge Aurier.
Vertonghen and Dembele came off at half-time at Huddersfield Town on Saturday, Eriksen has been carrying a groin problem and Alli, as expected, will be missing with his hamstring problem.
All five players are out of Saturday's Premier League visit of Cardiff, although there was some good news for manager Mauricio Pochettino with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris back in training after a thigh injury and set to start.
Kane, though, thinks he and his team-mates will be able to cope against the La Liga giants.
"That's the reason we have a big squad, it's time for the next man to step in," he said.
"Of course it's a massive game in the group, you never want to start with two losses. At home we have to be strong if we want to progress. Barcelona are a fantastic side but last year we proved we can beat the big teams, especially at home."
Meanwhile, Pochettino was asked whether he could see himself managing Barcelona at some time in the future.
The Argentine played for and managed Barca's city rivals Espanyol, and his response was unequivocal.
"I have been asked this many times," he said. "Every time I say an answer it can be interpreted differently so today I want to be clear. I think it would be impossible for me to coach Barcelona.
"I don't have anything against them but emotionally I am linked to Espanyol. There are some values you cannot change. My emotional links with Espanyol are so big, because of the time I spent there and the impact it had on me, I wouldn't change."
Eriksen (abdominal), Dembele (thigh) and Vertonghen (hamstring) join Dele Alli (hamstring) on the sidelines with injuries starting to pile up at Spurs, while Aurier is still not ready to return from injury.
But goalkeeper Hugo Lloris returns after a thigh injury and will start.
Barcelona will be without Sergi Roberto and Samuel Umtiti, with the latter suspended after being sent off against PSV Eindhoven.
- This will be only the third ever match between Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona, and the first since April 1982 in the semi-finals of the Cup Winners' Cup, which Barcelona won 2-1 on aggregate
- Barcelona have lost just one of their last 11 Champions League matches against English clubs (W8 D2), however they are without a win in their last two visits to England in the competition (D1 L1), a 1-1 draw with Chelsea last season and a 3-1 defeat at Manchester City in 2016/17
- Tottenham won all three of their home games in last season's Champions League group stage, scoring exactly three goals in each match
- Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has won only once in nine previous meetings with Barcelona as a manager in all competitions (D3 L5), all with former club Espanyol
- Away from home, Barcelona have won just one of their last seven Champions League games (D3 L3), a 1-0 win over Portuguese side Sporting CP in last season's group stage
- Spurs have only drawn one of their 12 home games in the Champions League (W7 D1 L4), with that coming back in March 2011 against AC Milan (0-0).
Tottenham got their needed win at the weekend against Huddersfield and Harry Kane is scoring again, so they go into this in good mood. Barcelona have improved defensively despite still stuttering and the manager making too many changes. However, Lionel Messi is fresh, having played only 20 minutes at the weekend. Barca will be patient and try and control possession, but that's what Spurs will want to do too, so whoever can do that will be key. I expect it to be an open game and Spurs to give the Spanish giants a hard time.
It will come down to that extra bit of quality and that's what Barcelona have. The stage is set for Messi to do something magical.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-3 (33/1 with Sky Bet)