The build-up to the first Champions League encounter between Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid was dominated by transfer rumours linking Harry Kane with a move to the Bernabeu.
The second fixture between the pair has also been dominated by Kane, but this time it is centred around the striker’s fitness.
Tottenham were without the 24-year-old for Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United due to a hamstring injury.
The England international has returned to training ahead of Wednesday’s showdown against Madrid at Wembley, but manager Mauricio Pochettino is unsure whether Kane will be named in the first XI.
After sealing two wins and a draw, Spurs are well positioned to qualify for the last 16 in Europe, which means that they could afford to rest Kane rather than risk him.
Football pundit Charlie Nicholas believes that Pochettino’s men could rub salt into the wound of Madrid, who head into this week’s match on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Girona in La Liga.
The former Arsenal forward told Sky Sports:
“Real Madrid had a shocking result losing to Girona on Sunday and if Kane is fully fit then they are there for the taking. They look all over the place and looking to blame each other, with Sergio Ramos likely to be up to his old tricks and Cristiano Ronaldo unhappy with the physical treatment he’ll get from Tottenham’s defence.”