Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has stated England captain Harry Kane could miss this evening’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Arsenal.
Spurs line up against their fierce rivals at The Emirates battling for a place in the semi-finals a little over two weeks after losing 4-2 to the Gunners in the league.
Kane scored Tottenham’s second goal on that occasion but could be sidelined tonight after picking up a cold earlier in the week.
Spurs will make a late decision after he did not train with the rest of the squad as the North London build up to a gruelling set of fixtures over the coming weeks.
The 25-year-old striker has featured in every game of Tottenham’s league campaign and started every Champions League outing but did not play in their Carabao Cup victories over Watford and West Ham United.
Pochettino has already revealed that he will – if possible – stick to his policy of using the League Cup as an opportunity to allow other Spurs squad members playing time.
He has confirmed that goalkeeper Paolo Gazzaniga will get a start but with Tottenham facing something of an injury crisis, many of his key players are unavailable, leaving him few options to rotate his squad.
Missing Eric Dier, Moussa Dembele and Victor Wanyama, Pochettino could do with Kane’s experience and talismanic leadership for Spurs to have a chance against Unai Emery’s resurgent Arsenal side.
However, if there are any doubts about his fitness, he will likely not be risked given Tottenham have league games against Bournemouth, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City in the next two weeks.
“We need to assess him because he had a cold this morning and he didn’t go outside to train,” Pochettino told The Daily Mail.
“Big decision. If we consider that he can cover 90 minutes, maybe he can play.
“If not, maybe he will be on the bench.
“To protect him, he didn’t train outside. He was doing something in the gym.”
If Kane does not play, then Fernando Llorente is most likely to come in and lead the line with Son Heung-min also an option for the Spurs boss.