Spurs' England stars vital in adapting to Wembley

Tottenham striker Harry Kane trains prior to his club's Champions League clash against Monaco. The England international ended a goal drought when he scored against Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane trains prior to his club's Champions League clash against Monaco. The England international ended a goal drought when he scored against Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday. PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

LONDON • Harry Kane is confident Tottenham Hotspur's England stars will ensure Wembley becomes a successful second home in their Champions League opener against Monaco today.

Mauricio Pochettino's side return to the Champions League for the first time in five years in unfamiliar surroundings after deciding to stage their European matches at Wembley rather than White Hart Lane.

The prospect of bigger crowds at the English national stadium convinced Tottenham to make the short move across north London. And the crowd is expected to set a record for the largest attendance for a home Champions League game in Britain.

Fans of Tottenham's bitter rivals Arsenal can testify to the struggles of a Wembley relocation as they won just two of their six fixtures in Europe when temporarily playing there in the late 1990s.

But Spurs striker Kane believes a strong English core that includes internationals Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and himself can help the team instantly settle into the venue where they play for their country.

"If there are 85-90,000 Tottenham fans in there it's only going to make you play better," Kane said.

"A lot of us have played there already, so it feels like even more of a home."

Tottenham head into the Monaco clash on a high after winning 4-0 at Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday, maintaining their unbeaten start to the new season.

Kane ended a nine-game goal drought by netting for the first time this campaign.

Monaco also arrive in London in confident mood after climbing to the top of the French Ligue 1 with a 4-1 win at Lille.

Leonardo Jardim's team are unbeaten in four league matches, including an upset of champions Paris Saint-Germain.

They also survived two tough rounds of qualifying against Fenerbahce and Villarreal to reach the Champions League group stages.

According to former France and Arsenal star Emmanuel Petit, Leonardo Jardim's men should not be underestimated.

"Monaco will not be intimidated. They are in good form and they beat PSG just before the international break," he said. "They are organised and are playing well. Spurs need to be careful of them."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2016, with the headline 'Spurs' England stars vital in adapting to Wembley'. Print Edition | Subscribe