Kane's return a boost for Tottenham's top-four bid

LONDON • Star striker Harry Kane has fully recovered from an ankle injury and is in line to return to the starting line-up for Tottenham's Premier League clash at relegation-threatened Stoke today.

Kane came on as a late substitute in Spurs' 3-1 away victory over champions Chelsea last weekend in the league and showed no effects of the injury that he picked up on March 11.

"He is okay after playing nearly 20 minutes against Chelsea. This week was good, he is working hard," Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino told a news conference yesterday.

"Of course, the expectation for him (Kane) is to score goals. He is hungry to score (more)."

Kane is Tottenham's top scorer this season with 24 league goals and is looking to win the Golden Boot for a third straight season. The England international is behind Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who has 29 goals.

Tottenham are fourth in the league with 64 points and looking to secure a top-four finish to ensure Champions League football next season.

Pochettino was also hopeful of his side being able to repeat last season's second place.

"We want to finish as high as possible, we are in a good position but there are still a lot of games to play... If we can finish second, it would be better than third or fourth," the Argentinian added.

He was wary, however, of the trip to 19th-placed Stoke and expected it to be a more challenging encounter than their clash against Antonio Conte's team.

"Our focus must be 200 per cent," the 46-year-old said.

With an eight-point gap to the Blues in fifth, a place in the Champions League for a third successive season seems increasingly likely while Manchester United stand between Pochettino's side and a place in the FA Cup final.

Victory in that competition would mean Pochettino could add a maiden trophy since taking charge of the club in 2014.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

STOKE V TOTTENHAM

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2018, with the headline 'Kane's return a boost for Tottenham's top-four bid'. Print Edition | Subscribe