Spurs have a better win record without Kane this season but the knockout game against Man City will be a whole new ballgame…
Harry Kane limped off in Tottenham Hotspur’s first leg UEFA Champions League quarter final tie against Manchester City. The striker suffered an ankle injury after a challenge with Fabian Delph when the score was tied 0-0 in the 57th minute.
Despite that, Spurs go to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday with a 1-0 lead thanks to a 78th-minute strike from Son Heung-min. With the lead as slender it is, Spurs have their task cut out as they miss the services of Kane.
Numerous statistics were then thrown out as to how the team performs better without Kane. Spurs have won all of their previous five matches without Harry Kane, with Fernando Llorente providing a good back-up option.
But, do statistics tell you the real story? Ask anyone in the Spurs ranks and they would prefer Kane leading the line than not, without blinking twice.
With the season probably over for the England striker, the lack of depth in squad has hampered the North London side. Mauricio Pochettino’s side sent fans back home happy with a memorable scoreline to remember from their first European game at the new stadium but a week on, the Argentine has plenty to think.
Llorente stepped up well in the absence of Kane and Son, who was away with South Korea at the Asian Cup in UAE. But a Champions League quarterfinal cannot be compared to league games and domestic cup engagements.
Son has already put his hand up to fill the void up front and Lucas Moura scoring a hat-trick over the weekend only makes for good reading. But, neither match up to the physical prowess Kane possesses and the instinct he provides inside the box. His tally of 24 goals across all competitions this season speak for itself.
Manchester City are hungry for European success but a certain joie de vivre was missing in the first leg from the Sky Blues. Guardiola decided to keep Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane on the bench and if the duo start the second leg, life will get even difficult for Spurs with only a 1-0 lead.
Credit where it is due and Pochettino did exceedingly well to mould his style to play without Kane for several matches this season, but a Champions League knockout game is a different kettle of fish.