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Monday, 21 January, 2019

Tottenham can make light of Kane pain

Tough trip for visiting Saints

Tottenham forward Dele Alli
1 of 1

Premier League
Sky Sports 1, 2.15pm Sunday

Harry Kane's ankle injury has cast a shadow over Tottenham's push for a top-four finish but the Lilywhites can show they are not a one-man team by beating Southampton at White Hart Lane.

Saints' chances of beating Spurs have been improved by the absence of Kane, who faces an estimated four to six weeks out of action after falling awkwardly under the challenge of Millwall centre-back Jake Cooper last Sunday.

Kane averages a goal every 99 minutes of league action this season and has been a hugely influential player for Spurs in the last three seasons.

During his autumn layoff Spurs had mixed fortunes - winning four, drawing four and losing twice - but their only domestic defeat in that time was a 2-1 loss at Liverpool in the EFL Cup when Mauricio Pochettino fielded a largely second-string side.

Kane missed three White Hart Lane fixtures – a 5-0 EFL Cup win at home to Gillingham, a 2-0 success over Manchester City and 1-1 draw with Leicester.

Maybe he would have made the difference in the Leicester game but Spurs have not done too badly without their talisman and they flourished in the game against City.

The Millwall match showcased their threats from other areas with Heung-Min Son bagging a hat-trick and Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Vincent Janssen getting on the scoresheet.

Stiffer tests are ahead for Spurs but they have sufficient quality to open up a Southampton defence that looks vulnerable.

Saints were rock-solid earlier in the season with Jose Fonte forming an excellent central defensive partnership with Virgil Van Dijk but the January sale of Fonte to West Ham and an injury to Van Dijk has left them with a softer centre.

Replacements Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens have failed to convince and Saints have shipped 16 goals in their last six matches.

The best way to paper over the cracks of a poor defence is to score a lot of goals and Southampton's firepower has been markedly increased since the January signing of Manolo Gabbiadini from Napoli.

Gabbiadini has adapted to English football instantly, scoring six goals in four games,  and is just 7-1 to score the first goal against Spurs.

The Italian is arguably the most talented attacker on the pitch at White Hart Lane, but he will be facing some top defenders.

Spurs have conceded just seven goals in 14 home games this season and have looked very settled since switching to a back three of Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

Their home record – 12 wins, two draws and no defeats – is second only to Chelsea and, with or without Kane, they are strong enough to see off Southampton.

1pt 8-11 Ladbrokes

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Team news
Harry Kane (ankle) begins a spell on the sidelines and Victor Wanyama (neck) and Kyle Walker (ankle) are doubts with minor injuries. Danny Rose (knee) and Erik Lamela (hip) are out.

Southampton have no fresh injury worries but Charlie Austin (shoulder) and Virgil van Dijk (ankle) are out.

Key stat
Tottenham have won 16 of their 18 matches at White Hart Lane this season.

Spurs have not done too badly without their talisman and they flourished in the game against City
E.W. Terms
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