Football

Pochettino hopeful of Kane return for Real test

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes there's still a chance of leading scorer Harry Kane playing against holders Real Madrid in the Champions League on Thursday morning (Singapore time).

England striker Kane has scored eight English Premier League goals this season and has hit five in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund and Apoel Nicosia.

Kane, however, missed Tottenham's 1-0 defeat by Manchester United in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday with a hamstring problem suffered against Liverpool the previous weekend.

The injury also sidelined him from Spurs' midweek League Cup loss to West Ham.

But with Pochettino's side failing to score in Manchester, he'll want his goal talisman back to face Spanish giants Real at Wembley.

"We will see in the next few days if he can be at the right level to play against Real Madrid," said Pochettino.

"We will need to assess him and then make a decision."

Pochettino's side missed the chance to go second in the Premier League ahead of United, but the Tottenham manager had no time for suggestions that Saturday's reverse was all down to being without the 24-year-old striker.

"You're always going to miss your main striker and Harry Kane is one of the best strikers in the world, of course," said Pochettino.

"But that is not an excuse for today. We did not lose this game because Harry Kane was not here.

"Football is a collective sport and you always have to adapt when someone is not fit to play. I was happy with everyone's performance and we deserved more than zero points."

United's slender victory maintained the club's 100 per cent start to the season at Old Trafford, where they have yet to concede a goal at home this Premier League campaign. - AFP

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