Dier: Spurs must cope without Kane

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Eric Dier says he and his colleagues have to do their utmost to negate the loss to injury of star striker Harry Kane.

England captain Kane is expected back in action sometime in March, having sustained ankle ligament damage in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United.

The first game he missed saw Spurs score right at the death to win 2-1 at Fulham on Sunday, with Dier insisting that the absence of Kane has to be put to one side while there are on-field matters to take care of.

He told Sky Sports: "It's not a question of if we can cope without Harry or not. Harry's one of the best strikers in the world, any team would feel the loss if he wasn't playing, so we have to find a solution and move on.

"Harry will be doing his best to get back as soon as possible and it's down to the team and the squad to rally and carry on."

Tottenham are currently priced at 2/9 to finish in the Premier League top four this season, while they are 8/1 to lift the FA Cup.

Meanwhile, England boss Gareth Southgate expects Kane to be pushing hard to return to action as soon as possible.

He added: "It's a disappointment for any player to miss matches and Harry especially wants to be available for every game and have the opportunity to score in every game.

"Knowing his mindset, there'll be a calendar on the wall and he'll be making sure he gets back ahead of where people are predicting he can be back."

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EFL Cup: Get Ready for Fireworks at The Bridge!

Chelsea vs (0-1 on agg.) Tottenham Hotspur

It can be difficult for any football manager to motivate his multi-million pound players.

Just ask Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri right now.

What better way, though,than to be inspired by the chance of a trip to Wembley for a cup final.

That is the incentive facing the west Londoners as they welcome Spurs to Stamford Bridge in the EFL Cup.

Trailing 1-0 on aggregate after the first leg– ironically at Wembley –there is work to be done.

But after losing to a dubious VAR determined goal and up against opponents missing key players, they have a chance to exact revenge.

Talking Points

Chelsea were certainly very much second best during their trip to North London at the weekend.

The exasperated Sarri’s post-match comments were emphatically clear as he aimed a stinging rebuke at the attitude of some of his players.

Given that Chelsea have only won two of their past five matches and are now just three points clear of Arsenal in fifth and sixth-placed Manchester United in the Premier League, Sarri will justifiably feel some of his stars owe him a performance.

Given that they also trail to what they feel was an unfair decision, should arguably have returned from the first leg with parity and are now up against a Spurs side missing key men in the injured Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min at the Asian Cup, those players should not need extra motivation as they bid to book a place in next month’s final.

They could have a boost with a new arrival with Gonzalo Higuain reportedly on the verge of signing on loan for the remainder of the season.

If he does join the ranks of SW6, it will certainly improve an attack which has lost some of its potency in recent weeks with Olivier Giroud mainly consigned to the bench and the under-performing Alvaro Morata having returned to Spain by signing on loan for Atletico Madrid.

Can Maurizio Sarri achieve a positive EFL Cup 2019 news despite Spurs winning the first leg

Maurizio Sarri is under pressure to qualify Chelsea into the finals

Higuain, who Sarri worked with at Napoli, will need little introduction to where the goal is as us fans will know, even if he has cut a frustrated figure during his time in Italy so far this term.

His arrival would provide one of the EFL Cup 2019 news stories but, more importantly, this tie offers a genuine chance for both sides to move closer to securing silverware, especially as their Premier League title hopes have evaporated.

It’s fair to say when the stakes are high, these teams often produce some of their most feisty clashes.

There have been many over the years with Chelsea generally holding the upper hand, until recently.

With Manchester City lying in wait for the winners, the EFL Cup 2019 should be quite a spectacle.

The only question now, looking at the EFL Cup 2019 betting odds, is who do you back?

History

After holding a hoodoo over Spurs for so long, Chelsea have struggled in recent years against their London rivals.

Spurs have won four of their last six meetings with Kane on target in both the first leg of this semi-final and the 3-1 league success in November, Sarri’s first defeat in the Premier League.

They also won 3-1 at Stamford Bridge last season – their first success in 31 visits to Stamford Bridge in all competitions since February 1990.

Overall, Chelsea have triumphed in 68 of their meetings with Spurs enjoying victory 54 times and 40 matches ending all square.

When they met in the EFL Cup Final in 2015, Chelsea were 2-0 winners, thanks to goals from John Terry and Diego Costa.

Yet go back to the 2008 final and Spurs prevailed 2-1 in extra-time when a Didier Drogba opener was cancelled out by goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Jonathan Woodgate – the first final played at the new Wembley Stadium.

Betting Tip

??
Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur 1X2 Draw @ 3.70
January 25 03:45 (GMT+8)

Chelsea are firmer favourites than you would expect.

1X2 has them priced @ 1.70 with Spurs out @ 4.50 and the draw @ 3.70.

Asian Handicap betting favours the home side -0.50 @ 1.74 and Spurs +0.50 @ 2.21.

Double Chance Spurs or draw @ 2.04 is worth a punt and, if it’s tight defensively on what may be a tense night, the bet of under 2.50 goals @ 2.05 may grab your attention.

So which team will advance to the next round and the February 24 final?

Odds have Spurs @ 1.70 and Chelsea 0.00 @ 2.28.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Spurs tipped to cope without Kane

Mauricio Pochettino remains confident that his Tottenham Hotspur side can cope with the absence of star striker Harry Kane, who is sidelined by an ankle injury.

England skipper Kane, who has scored 20 goals for Spurs so far this season, is expected to be out of action until March, leaving head coach Pochettino to plan without his main goal-getter.

However, the Argentinian has again played down talk of a move into the transfer market to secure a replacement, saying that no suitable player is available at the moment.

Pochettino told reporters: "We are going to see the time it takes to have the full recovery. Harry is a very positive person, the moment he got injured he started thinking about recovering as soon as possible.

"When he is one of the best strikers in Europe it is going to affect performances. We are positive we can cope and we have players who can cover his position. It won't affect our approach to the games.

"It is not going to change our mind. We are open to adding to our squad, but it is not going to put pressure on us to sign.

"The market is very difficult. If we find the player that is going to help us and add quality we are more than open to make that happen. At the minute there is no player."

Spurs are back in action on Sunday when they make the short trip to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham, with the visitors 8/11 to win the game, 8/1 to do so by a 2-0 scoreline and 11/8 to keep a clean sheet.

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Spurs confirm Kane absence

Tottenham have confirmed that Harry Kane is expected to be sidelined until March with an ankle injury.

The striker went down in the final stages of Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Manchester United and limped off the field at full time.

Mauricio Pochettino was coy on the issue when quizzed after the match and following tests, the club have confirmed the extent of the injury.

A statement on Tottenham's website read: "Following preliminary assessments, we can confirm that Harry Kane has damaged ligaments in his left ankle, sustained during Sunday's match against Manchester United.

"The striker will continue to be monitored by our medical staff as he commences rehabilitation and is expected to return to training in early March."

Spurs sit third in the table, nine points behind leaders Liverpool and the news comes as a further blow, with Son Heung-min now away at the Asian Cup.

The club were considering selling both Fernando Llorente and Vincent Janssen, however, Pochettino may have to perform a U-turn on his opinion of the pair.

Kane, who has scored 20 goals in all competitions this season, looks set to miss both legs of the Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund, with Spurs 1/1 to qualify.

The England captain will also be absent for the EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea on 24th January, while the Premier League fixtures against Arsenal and the aforementioned Blues are also expected to come too soon for him.

Tottenham are 3/1 to win the EFL Cup, while they can be backed at 7/1 to lift the FA Cup.

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Pochettino reveals Kane fears

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has admitted to being "worried" about the ankle injury Harry Kane picked up against Manchester United on Sunday.

The England international captain was left needing treatment on the pitch at the end of Spurs' 1-0 defeat to United at Wembley after he was caught on the ankle by Phil Jones.

Kane has been blighted by similar injury issues in the past two seasons and Pochettino revealed that he fears another possible lay-off for his influential striker.

The Argentinian, who also lost midfielder Moussa Sissoko to injury during the game and has Son Heung-min set to go away on international duty with South Korea at the Asian Cup, said: "I think I am worried because we will see what happens with Harry Kane.

"I think Moussa is only a small thing but we will see, we need to assess Harry Kane.

"At the end I think he suffered a big tackle and twisted his ankle and now we need to assess him over the next few days, hoping it is not a big issue."

Spurs' defeat to United has left them nine points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool and 66/1 to win the title, while they remain 2/11 to secure a top-four finish.

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Kane feels the need for silverware

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane believes his side are in 'good shape' to try and end their long wait for silverware this season.

Spurs remain involved in three cup competitions, while they are third in the Premier League standings, six points adrift of leaders Liverpool.

And Kane thinks that the time is right for the Lilywhites to push on and land their first trophy since lifting the League Cup in 2008.

The England skipper told Sky Sports: "I've said all along that the aim of a professional footballer is to win team trophies.

"We're in a good stage, we're in a semi-final (Carabao Cup) with a 1-0 lead, we're in the FA Cup and Champions League and we're not too far off in the Premier League, although there is a long way to go.

"So far, so good, but it's this stage of the season that we have just fallen behind in the past, so it is important this year that we step it up, work even harder and go into these games and try and bring it home."

Tottenham face a major test of their mettle on Sunday when they play host to a resurgent Manchester United at Wembley.

The Red Devils have won five games in a row under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, scoring 16 goals in the process.

Spurs can be backed at 11/10 to win the game on Sunday, with Kane priced at 8/11 to score at any time and 10/3 to score two or more goals.

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EFL Cup: Harry Kane Fires Spurs Into a Half-Time Lead!

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Chelsea

A VAR-assisted penalty by Harry Kane gave Tottenham Hotspur a crucial one-goal lead in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg at Wembley Stadium.

In a game dominated by Chelsea, Mauricio Pochettino will be delighted his team has its nose in front, but will be disturbed by an inability to boss the game. Maurizio Sarri’s Blues need to find a way to turn possession and pressure into goals.

This competition presents a great chance of silverware for both these clubs, though the EFL Cup betting odds still favour Manchester City who play Burton Albion in the other semi-final.

Pochettino and Sarri are the only two top six coaches yet to win a trophy, and the second leg is bound to be packed with drama.

Highlights of the game

Any thoughts Spurs had of making a fast start were quickly extinguished by Chelsea who seemed intent on pegging their hosts back.

Young winger Callum Hudson-Odoi looked lively from the off, taking a pass from Willian and firing a low shot to test Paulo Gazzaniga. Ross Barkley also had a couple of efforts, looping a header over and then trying an ambitious half-volley from distance.

Eden Hazard fired a shot in from 25 yards which had better direction, but it was well held by Gazzaniga.

On 24 minutes came the big VAR moment. Harry Kane looked to have sprung the offside trap and as Kepa flew out to meet the England striker, the keeper’s right leg sent him tumbling.

The offside flag went up but VAR rectified the decision. Kane stepped up and slammed the opener low to Kepa’s right to put Spurs one up against the run of play.

Chelsea have struggled in front of goal recently, relying on a rare strike from defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante to grab a recent 0-1 win over Crystal Palace. Sarri has encouraged Kante to push further forward, and he made a good striker’s run to meet a cross from Marcos Alonso. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, his first-time effort brushed the post.

Chelsea failed to bounce back as they fall to Tottenham in leg 1 of their EFL Cup semis matchup

Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante attempts a goal during their match against Tottenham Hotspur

The 18-year-old Hudson-Odoi has been the subject of attention from FC Bayern and you can see why they like him, and why Sarri wants him to stay. On the stroke of half-time, he came close to levelling with a cross-shot which Gazzaniga just managed to tip onto the crossbar. It was a desperate save and one to catch on the EFL Cup 2019 highlights.

Chelsea started the second half on the front foot. Hazard made space to float a beautiful ball over which Kieran Trippier cleared from under the nose of Willian.

Kane came close to making it two with a searing drive from 30 yards which Kepa saved in the top corner. But Chelsea hit back again and Kante forced Gazzaniga into another save.

After that, Andreas Christensen had a glorious chance to level when he arrived at the back post unmarked to meet a corner. However, he sliced his effort hopelessly wide.

It was all Chelsea, but every time they fired a ball into the box, a white shirt was there to clear the danger.

Spurs survived but it’s only half-time.

Key statistics

Spurs won this game at pre-match us odds of 2.14, but with 58 percent possession and 17 shots to six, the Blues can feel themselves a little unlucky to be behind after the first leg.

It was that man Kane who struck the crucial blow, and he has now contributed a goal or assist in each of the Spurs’ last nine games. And it was his sixth goal in 12 matches against Chelsea.

Pochettino’s team has now won its last three games against the Blues.

What’s next?

There’s another huge game coming up at the Wembley Stadium this week when Manchester United are the visitors in a crunch Premier League clash.

The Red Devils have their swagger back, winning all four games since the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as coach. Nonetheless, the Spurs need to win this clash to keep pace with the Premier League leaders.

Chelsea haven’t given up hope entirely, now that the top two have both lost their unbeaten records. A ten-point gap is a lot to make up, but a top-four place is in their hands and will probably remain so after the visit of struggling Newcastle to the Bridge.

 

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Sarri seeks a different approach

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri hopes his players have learned the lessons of a 3-1 Premier League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley back in late November.

The two sides come face-to-face at the same venue on Tuesday evening in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final tie, with the Italian well aware that the Blues were well beaten on their last visit to Wembley.

He told reporters: "We need to approach the match in another way, because they were more aggressive than us and more determined than us.

"So we know very well, if the approach is the same, there is no solution for us.

"We can speak about tactics, but only if we are at the same level of application and determination.

"In that match we needed to play more outside than inside because the space was there and we understood that later."

Golas from Dele Alli and Harry Kane gave Spurs a two-goal cushion inside 16 minutes of the league meeting earlier this season, with Son Heung-Min adding a third early in the second half to make the game safe.

Olivier Giroud netted a late consolation for Chelsea, who had been unbeaten in the Premier League up until that match.

The Blues have since been beaten by both Wolves and Leicester City, while they go into the game on Tuesday on the back on three consecutive clean sheets.

Chelsea can be backed at 3/1 to keep another clean sheet at Wembley on Tuesday evening, with a 1-1 draw priced at 11/2, while the Blues are 7/2 to go all the way and win the Carabao Cup.

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Kane content with Spurs squad

Tottenham Hotspur skipper Harry Kane is confident that his side can maintain a Premier League title challenge with the players currently at their disposal.

Spurs lie second in the table ahead of the weekend action, when they welcome Wolves to Wembley, with the Londoners six points adrift of leaders Liverpool.

And Kane, who has scored 12 goals in 19 league appearances so far this season, does not believe that strengthening the squad in January is necessary, with head coach Mauricio Pochettino having made no signings at all in the summer.

The England captain told ESPN FC: "Sometimes if you can't find the right player, there's no need to buy a player. That's obviously the gaffer's philosophy and that was his thinking (in the summer).

"We'll see what happens in the January transfer window. If the gaffer wants to buy someone then I'm sure he will. If he doesn't we'll crack on and keep doing what we're doing.

"If a new face comes in then we'll welcome him and make sure he trains hard and he'll obviously try to get into the team.

"If we don't then we've got a big enough squad that we can rotate – players have been coming in and doing well. We'll be ready either way."

Kane, who has scored three times in his last two games, is available at 4/7 to score at any time against Wolves, with Spurs 4/11 to win the game and 12/1 to do so by a 3-1 scoreline.

Earlier this season the meeting of the two sides at Molineux ended in a 3-2 win for the visitors, with Kane among the scorers for the Lilywhites.

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Spurs hit six past Toffees

Tottenham entered the busy festive period in great form, hitting six past Everton at Goodison Park.

Mauricio Pochettino's side won 6-2 on Merseyside, falling behind to a goal from Theo Walcott goal but recovering to lead 3-1 at half-time.

Three more in the second half secured an impressive victory as they keep up their chase of the top two in the Premier League, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane getting two goals apiece.

Spurs had early chances in the game but it was the Toffees who went in front, Gylfi Sigurdsson doing well to find Dominic Calvert-Lewin whose cross was converted by Walcott.

Everton thought they had a second just minutes later, Calvert-Lewin heading in but he was ruled to have fouled Davinson Sanchez in getting off the ground.

It was a costly decision as Spurs were level three minutes later, the visitors getting back on level terms after benefitting from a defensive mix-up between Zouma and Jordan Pickford, the ball falling for Son Heung-min who, from a difficult position, slammed it into the far corner of the net.

Spurs were ahead on 36 minutes, Son again involved, his shot was well parried by Pickford but only into the path of Dele Alli who fired home.

Then Kane, having gone close earlier in the game, scored his first and Spurs' third just before the break, Kieran Trippier's free kick hitting the woodwork but the England striker was on hand to side-foot the ball into the net.

So 3-1 to the visitors at the break and the Toffees desperately needed a good start to the second half to get back into the game.

However, it was Spurs who struck just after the restart, getting their fourth with a wonderful goal from Christian Eriksen, a Kane cross headed out only to fall to the Dane whose half-volley flew past Pickford.

Everton gave themselves some hope a couple of minutes later, Sigurdsson riding some challenges and getting a shot in which beat Hugo Lloris.

However, Spurs widened their lead once again with their fifth, Son getting on the end of a slick passing move and finishing well past Pickford.

They weren't finished, emphasising their superiority with a sixth, Kane getting away from Zouma and getting a shot in which beat England team-mate Pickford.

So Tottenham enter the Christmas period as the closest challengers to the top two of Liverpool and Manchester City, sitting third in the table, two points ahead of Chelsea and Arsenal.

Spurs now have three games in seven days, starting off at home to Bournemouth on Boxing Day then hosting Wolves before travelling to play Cardiff on New Year's Day.

Spurs are 1/3 to win at Wembley on Boxing Day with Bournemouth 15/2 and the draw is 4/1.

Spurs are 1/7 to finish in the top four while they are 16/1 to win the title.

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