Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is “certain” he will be fit to play in the Champions League final, according to the London Evening Standard.
The England captain sustained ligament damage in the first leg of the quarter-final clash with Manchester City and subsequently missed the crazy return leg, as well as the two-legged triumph over Ajax.
However, the Standard now claim that he is “very confident” he will be included in Mauricio Pochettino’s squad for the final against Liverpool on June 1.
The 25-year-old, who has scored 24 goals in 39 outings in all competitions this season, has not played since April, however, and it remains to be seen if Pochettino will pick him in his starting XI.
Indeed, Lucas Moura scored a hat-trick in Amsterdam to send Spurs to the final and it would perhaps be harsh to drop the Brazil international to the bench on account of Kane’s return.
The injured forward was at the game in the Netherlands and, per the report, gave a stirring half-time speech to his team-mates, with the score at 3-0 on aggregate.
Lucas’ hat-trick, which was completed in the final minute of injury-time, prompted wild celebrations, with Kane actually sprinting onto the pitch to celebrate at full-time.
Spurs can’t afford to risk another Atletico Madrid situation here.
In 2014, Atletico played city rivals Real in the Champions League final and started Diego Costa up front despite his ongoing fitness issues.
He was substituted in the ninth minute after aggravating a hamstring problem; Spurs can ill-afford to do the same with Kane.
He has not played a single minute of football in over two months and it would be prudent for Pochettino to leave him on the bench.
The prospect of the 25-year-old coming on in the second half, with the game finely poised, could precipitate a change in momentum and swing the game towards Spurs.
They have relied on the pace and intricacy of Lucas and Son Heung-Min in recent rounds; they should do the same in the final, with Kane playing the role of wildcard.