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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has hinted Harry Kane could be fit enough to start on the bench for their Champions League final against Liverpool.
And he has tipped the England captain to play a decisive role in their all-English clash in Madrid, even if he does not make his starting XI.
Daniel Sturridge’s contract at Liverpool expires this season and it looks certain that the striker will leave the club on a free transfer after the Champions League final.
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Kane is facing a race to be fit for the May 1 showdown in Spain after suffering an ankle injury six weeks ago, missing nine games in all competitions.
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Fans were encouraged to see the striker running again as he joined in the celebrations after watching his team-mates stunning semi-final comeback against Ajax.
Sturridge will almost certainly be on the bench for the match and he’ll be hoping to get the chance to feature at some point.
But the striker has only just returned to first-team training and, speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, Pochettino remained coy on whether Kane would be involved or not.
However, the Argentine did hint that he could be Spurs secret weapon off the bench against Jurgen Klopps Reds.
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His evolution is very good, this week he is so close to start working with the group again, but still we cannot say anything about if hes going to be available or not.
“Theres still a lot of work to do, but of course I am so motivated to stay with Tottenham and provide Tottenham with what they deserve.”
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But you can start the game and not be important, and you can come from the bench and still be the important player, the decisive player. The game can be 90 minutes or 120 minutes with penalties.
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Spurs go into the final having already lost twice, both home and away, against Liverpool in the Premier League this season.
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But Pochettino insists his team are confident they can see off the league runners-up and lift the European Cup for the first time in the north London clubs history.
Its a final, so its going to be a completely different game to the games in the Premier League, added the Argentine.
It may be impossible keep a manager who wants to leave, which is something only Pochettino knows for certain. Pochettino is the driving force, the soul, heart and inspiration to Tottenham. Having a manager who’s mind wonders elsewhere can be extremely detrimental to a football side. Tottenham will need to make sure that they do everything in their power to keep Pochettino, ensuring his happiness and diluting the emotional appeal that Juventus is trying to persuade him with.
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By the way, in the last game we played at Anfield we deserved much more, and that gives us the belief we can beat them.
Watch a clip of talkSPORTs chat with Mauricio Pochettino below, and tune into The Season Ticket from 7pm to hear the interview IN FULL