Kane a doubt for Everton showdown

LONDON • Mauricio Pochettino will take a late call on whether in-form striker Harry Kane plays in today's Premier League match against Everton, with the Tottenham Hotspur manager unwilling to take any risks with his star striker who is nursing an injury.

Kane picked up a knock after colliding with a post in last weekend's 4-0 win over Stoke City and was substituted in the second half after scoring a hat-trick.

Defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are doubtful for the match, with longer-term absentees full-back Danny Rose and midfielder Erik Lamela also unavailable.

"We need to wait until tomorrow to assess them, then take the decision," Pochettino said on Friday.

"The first moment (Kane got injured) he said it was good. But at the end of the game, when it got cold, it appeared more painful.

"I trust that he can play Sunday. But if not, if he is a risk, he will not be in the squad."

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Everton manager Ronald Koeman acknowledge that both sides had improved since they played out a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park at the start of the season.

"It will be a battle, and the key is to win that midfield battle," the Dutchman said.

"Everton are stronger now than we were in the first game but Tottenham are also stronger."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 05, 2017, with the headline 'Kane a doubt for Everton showdown'. Print Edition | Subscribe