Kane warns Le­ices­ter

Sunday Express - - SPORT -

Harry Kane has warned lead­ers Le­ices­ter City that ti­tle-chas­ing Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur are happy to play catch up as the race for the Premier League crown en­ters the fi­nal fur­long.

For the sec­ond week­end in a row, sec­ond placed Tot­ten­ham, who host West Bromwich al­bion to­mor­row, kick off 24 hours af­ter Le­ices­ter, with Clau­dio ranieri’s side at home to Swansea this af­ter­noon.

But Kane in­sists the per­ceived bur­den of hav­ing to fol­low Le­ices­ter is ac­tu­ally a bonus be­cause it gets his team’s juices flow­ing.

That Kane and com­pany have no prob­lem deal­ing with the pres­sure of try­ing to over­haul Le­ices­ter was clear to see last Mon­day when they won 4-0 at Stoke to take ad­van­tage of the lead­ers’ draw with West Ham the pre­vi­ous day.

Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s team are now five points be­hind Le­ices­ter with four matches re­main­ing and Eng­land for­ward Kane is hop­ing this week­end’s cru­cial fix­tures fol­low a sim­i­lar pat­tern.

“Watch­ing all the foot­ball over the week­end and hav­ing to wait un­til Mon­day night to play, gets you ready, gets you fir­ing,” Kane said.

“With more per­for­mances like against Stoke, I’m sure we’ll push them all the way.

“all we can do is keep do­ing what we’re do­ing. We want to win all four of our games.”

While Le­ices­ter will be with­out the sus­pended Jamie Vardy to­day af­ter his dis­missal for div­ing against West Ham, Tot­ten­ham have no such is­sues with the in­form Kane, who scored twice against Stoke to take his tally to a Premier League lead­ing 24 goals this sea­son.

Vardy’s ban could be ex­tended af­ter the Eng­land striker ac­cepted a Foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion charge of mis­con­duct for his an­gry re­ac­tion to the red card and Kane knows that would be a huge blow for the lead­ers, who face Manch­ester United, Ever­ton and Chelsea in their fi­nal three matches.

“Ob­vi­ously Le­ices­ter have got some tough games com­ing up,” he said.

“They’re in the driv­ing seat. All we can do is keep win­ning.”

Vardy’s re­place­ment against Swansea is likely to be Leonardo Ul­loa, who came off the bench to score the last-gasp penalty that res­cued a draw against West Ham.

Ul­loa be­lieves the way Le­ices­ter avoided de­feat de­spite the stress of Vardy’s dis­missal and the shock of con­ced­ing two late goals showed their de­sire to fin­ish off the most un­likely ti­tle bid of all time.

Just 12 months ago, Le­ices­ter were en­gaged in a bat­tle for rel­e­ga­tion and they started this sea­son as 5 000-1 out­siders for the ti­tle.

“We showed great char­ac­ter. I love to play with this team be­cause we all fight to­gether un­til the last minute,” Ul­loa said.

“I didn’t think about the pres­sure of the sit­u­a­tion. Af­ter I scored I felt how im­por- tant the goal was. The feel­ing was so good.”

Manch­ester City yes­ter­day warmed up for their Cham­pi­ons League semi­fi­nal first leg against real Madrid by host­ing Stoke in a less glam­ourous but still sig­nif­i­cant en­counter.

Tues­day’s clash with real has the star power, but Manuel Pel­le­grini’s fourth placed side also need to en­sure they qual­ify for next sea­son’s Cham­pi­ons League via a top four fin­ish.

They are five points ahead of fifth placed Manch­ester United, who play in the Fa Cup semi­fi­nals against Ever­ton yes­ter­day, so there is no room to be dis­tracted by the Madrid match-up.

In a fix­ture with sig­nif­i­cant im­pli­ca­tions at both ends of the ta­ble, ar­se­nal travel to Sun­der­land to­day.

The third-placed Gun­ners bol­stered their bid for a top four place with an Alexis Sanchez-in­spired win over West Brom on Thurs­day, but they still have lit­tle mar­gin for er­ror against a Sun­der­land side des­per­ate for points in their fight to avoid rel­e­ga­tion.

Sun­der­land are one point from safety and with fourth bot­tom Nor­wich not play­ing this week­end, they would climb out of the bot­tom three with a draw or win against the Gun­ners.

Liver­pool, back in the hunt for a Euro­pean berth af­ter their mid­week de­mo­li­tion of Ever­ton, host sec­ond bot­tom New­cas­tle, who are two points from safety.

“We are all happy and hope­fully we can keep this good mo­men­tum go­ing. We still have a lot to play for,” Liver­pool mid­fielder Lu­cas said. — AFP

Eng­land and Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur for­ward Harry Kane.

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