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Pochettino: decision on whether to start Kane “not easy”

Start? Bench? It’s a tough call for Mauricio Pochettino.

Previews - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The biggest decision left for Mauricio Pochettino ahead of Saturday’s Champions League finals is what to do with Harry Kane. The striker, who hasn’t been seen since he injured his ankle (again) in the first Champions League leg against Manchester City, has been pushing to be ready for tomorrow’s match. He’s been making all the right noises about fitness, health, and ability.

But ultimately, it comes down to what Mauricio Pochettino wants to do. And he’s playing it super cagey.

“It’s normal that you’re asking me. It’s difficult to put yourself in my place. It’s not going to be easy to take a decision tomorrow and every game you need to take a decision. Tomorrow we will have all the information and we will take the best decision to try to win.

”Of course it’s painful to only use the 11 players. I proposed a few weeks ago for the whole squad to be in the photo. UEFA listened and I think both teams will have that possibility. We talk about a lot of problems in England and tomorrow we can show millions of people the value of togetherness.

”Football is a collective sport and the 25 players are so important. The energy of the players not playing will also be decisive in the changing room.”

We’ve been saying tomorrow that of COURSE Kane will start, and that still may be the case. But if you were expecting Pochettino to come out and signal what the plans for his lineup tomorrow are going to be, you’ll likely be disappointed.

I don’t think there’s any chance that we don’t see Harry Kane on the Wanda Metropolitano pitch at some point tomorrow. If you put a gun to my head, I’d say he starts the match. But there’s certainly a reasonable case to be made that he’s better off coming in off the bench in his first match back from ankle injury, much less the biggest Tottenham match in modern history and a Champions League final. And, the flip side is that this is the perfect time to throw him back in for exactly those same reasons.

We won’t know until the lineups come out 75 minutes before the match.