RB Leipzig can realistically get past Tottenham in the last 16 of the Champions League and their chances are improved by Harry Kane's absence, says Lukas Klostermann.

Julian Nagelsmann has guided Leipzig, who sit one point behind leaders Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, into the knockout stages in just their second season in Europe's premier club competition.

The first leg will take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday, with the return match at the Red Bull Arena three weeks later.

Germany international Klostermann believes Leipzig are more than capable of reaching the quarter-finals despite being up against a team that finished as Champions League runners-up in 2018-19.

"It's an exciting match-up where we have a realistic chance of going through, even though we are facing a top European club," Klostermann told Omnisport.

"Tottenham have shown over recent years that they are among European football's elite. We are looking forward to the two games, knowing it's an enormous challenge.

"However, we are looking forward to those games and due to the work we have done during this season and the previous one, to have the opportunity to show where we're at."

In both legs, Spurs will be without Kane, who has been sidelined since January due to a hamstring injury and is not expected to return until April.

"I can't influence those things but obviously it's not really a disadvantage for us when their top striker is missing," said Klostermann.

"We need to look at ourselves and need to show a good performance on the pitch during those two games. A lot is going to depend on us if we go through or not."

Nagelsmann took charge of Hoffenheim at 28, making him the youngest coach in Bundesliga history, and his stock has continued to rise at Leipzig.

Klostermann said: "I think he is still a very young coach, he is very detailed and week after week he manages to communicate his idea to us players in a way that we can understand it and get enthusiastic about it, so that we are also convinced of this plan and are fully behind it.

"I think that's very important. You can see this in many situations, whether the team really stands behind the coach's idea and can implement it or whether you're just trying to implement instructions you're not convinced of yourself."

Jose Mourinho believes Harry Kane will not return to action for Tottenham until at least May, in a blow for both club and country.

Spurs striker Kane sustained a hamstring injury on New Year's Day in a defeat to Southampton and has been out of action since, having undergone surgery.

Initially, it was expected Kane would be out until April and the 26-year-old has already begun his rehabilitation process.

However, Mourinho has cast doubt on that prognosis, revealing he does not expect England captain Kane to be able to play again until at least May 9-10, with Spurs scheduled to face Leicester City in their penultimate match of the season, with Crystal Palace their final league opponents on May 17.

"The Leicester match," said Mourinho, whose side face Southampton in an FA Cup replay on Wednesday, when he was asked about Kane's return.

"Maybe we need that match for something. To be fourth, to be fifth, to be sixth. Maybe he can help us in this match. I hope. Is that the best-case scenario at the moment? Yes, I think so."

If Mourinho's prediction proves correct, it means Kane will only be able to play in two league fixtures prior to joining up with Gareth Southgate's England squad for Euro 2020.

England are in action in two warm-up fixtures in early June - against Austria and Romania respectively - before facing Croatia in their opening Euro 2020 fixture on June 14.

The national team's issues are of little concern to Mourinho, however.

"It's a problem for [Gareth] Southgate and for [the England assistant manager] Steve Holland, not for me," he added. "How would I feel if I were England manager? I don't know. I'm not."

Jurgen Klopp believes Harry Kane's injury could alert England's authorities to the dangers of too much football if the striker is ruled out of Gareth Southgate's Euro 2020 plans.

The Tottenham striker and England captain suffered a hamstring injury in his club's New Year's Day defeat at Southampton and has undergone surgery.

Tottenham have indicated Kane should be able to resume training in April, but it could be a slow road back to full match fitness.

Liverpool manager Klopp made mention of Kane in a lengthy explanation about his concerns that too many demands are placed on players in the modern game.

Klopp is known to often point to the heavy burden on players, caused by domestic league and cup games, European matches and international commitments.

Given his important role with club and country, Kane is sure to be missed by both, and Klopp suggested the Spurs star's problem may have been caused by his own busy schedule.

"I feel massively for Harry Kane," Klopp said. "Now I've heard maybe he's not in the Euros, for the first time some English people in the FA will start thinking, 'Too many games maybe'.

"Always something has to happen so that we start really thinking about it."

Harry Kane may have suffered an untimely injury, but England boss Gareth Southgate could well be blessed with a wealth of attacking options heading into Euro 2020.

Kane's hamstring injury should not see him miss the European Championship, but it has handed plenty of England hopefuls the chance to prove their worth.

And it seems as though this season, the Premier League belongs to homegrown forwards.

Jamie Vardy – who has retired from international duty – leads the way with 17 goals, ahead of three players sharing second place in the scoring charts with 14: Danny Ings, Marcus Rashford and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal striker Aubameyang is one of only four non-English players to take their place in the Premier League's list of leading scorers as things stand, along with Sergio Aguero, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Raheem Sterling, Tammy Abraham and Kane complete the top 10 and, using Opta data, we assess whether the 2019-20 Premier League campaign is an anomaly or the start of something new.

SIX OF THE BEST

Vardy's incredible form has been key to propelling Leicester City up the league, with Brendan Rodgers' side currently sitting third. 

The 33-year-old has 17 league goals to his name this season, though it is another Englishman who has been making the headlines recently – one who downed the Foxes last time out. 

Southampton's Ings has scored 10 goals in his past 11 top-flight appearances and is already the highest-scoring Southampton player in a single season since Jay Rodriguez in 2013-14. 

Level with Ings is Manchester United's Rashford, who seems to have finally taken up the mantle as the Red Devils' talisman and has scored 19 times across all competitions, one less than England team-mate Sterling, who has 11 league goals. 

Chelsea's transfer ban in the off season handed Abraham the chance to shine, and shine he has, scoring 13 times in the top flight, two more than England captain Kane. 

It should also be noted the six leading English scorers all represent different clubs, showing that homegrown talent is shared across the league. 

THE NEXT GENERATION

Of the English players leading the way this season, two – Rashford and Abraham – are 22, while City sensation Sterling is only just 25.  

Indeed, only Vardy, of the English forwards in the top 10, is above the age of 30. 

After overcoming a glut of injury issues, Ings is finally hitting his stride once more, with Southampton the benefactors.  

But, with the 27-year-old averaging a goal every 109.8 minutes in the league – a figure bettered only by Vardy among the other English players – Ings must be in serious contention for a place in Southgate's squad for the upcoming friendlies against Italy and Denmark. 

There is also plenty of potential for the future outside of the players in the top 10. After Sterling and Kane, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the highest-scoring English player and the 22-year-old seems to be coming into his own for Everton. 

He has scored eight league goals and 10 in total across all competitions, while United's Mason Greenwood is the highest-scoring teenager in the competition. 

Away from the Premier League, Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho has been lighting up the Bundesliga since his move from City in 2017.

HISTORY SAYS...

Only twice in the past nine Premier League seasons has an English forward won the Golden Boot, with Tottenham star Kane doing so in both 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Last season, the award was shared between Mane, Salah and Aubameyang, though each only managed 22 goals – the lowest amount since Carlos Teves finished top of the charts with 20 in 2010-11.

Since the start of the previous decade there has been a steady increase in the number of English players finishing in double figures for the season, with five last term being the most. But with six players inside the top 10 – and Calvert-Lewin not far away – this season, 2019-20 is proving the best season for homegrown strikers in that timeframe.

With Euro 2020 on the horizon, it appears this could well be the season that kick-starts a new wave of English talent starring in the big time.

Jose Mourinho insists he has no update on the fitness of Harry Kane and does not know if the Tottenham striker will be out until April, May or next season.

It was confirmed last week that Kane needed surgery on his left hamstring and will be out of action until at least April after sustaining the injury on New Year's Day when scoring a goal against Southampton that was ruled out for offside. 

The 26-year-old will be hoping to be fit for Spurs' end-of-season run-in and Euro 2020 duties for England.

Ahead of Tuesday's FA Cup third-round replay against Middlesbrough, Mourinho was asked for an update on Kane's fitness and whether he would need another striker to come in, having previously been linked to Milan's Krzysztof Piatek.

Mourinho said: "We try the best we can. News on Harry we don't have and if you ask me every time we come here the answer will be the same.

"We expect him to be out until, I don't know, mid-April, end of April, May, next season I don't know. I have no updates to give on Harry.

"I think this market in January is a strange market. Sometimes the opportunities are there and sometimes they are not there. 

"Sometimes clubs are ready to sell or loan and sometimes club are not. It's not an easy one. It is just the window of opportunity and sometimes the opportunity is there and sometimes it is not."

Mourinho feels Spurs' injury concerns, with Ben Davies (ankle) the first to be struck down during the Portuguese's tenure, are making it difficult to make long-term plans. 

The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss added: "We are more on the situation that we try to create a team that can play tomorrow and provide some guarantees of success.

"If you want to know what I wanted to do here, you look to my first game, against West Ham. That's the way I thought I was going to develop the team. Defend with a back four, attack with a back three.

"That means that my left-back defends as a left-back and then when we go in attacking organisation, my left-back becomes one of the three in the back. Build with three, protect the right-back and do overloads on the other side. 

"That was the way I wanted to develop the team. That was the first day of unlucky, goodbye Ben Davies and then I think everything started with Hugo Lloris.

"You lose your captain for so long and then in my case I lose Ben. We tried but then the players are different and then you lose one more, and you lose one more, and you lose Kane, and you don't have a striker. 

"You go to Middlesbrough and you play with Lucas [Moura] and Sonny [Son Heung-min] both up. 

"But then you realise that the team is comfortable with width and then you have to bring one to the side ... instead of building something that you see, the puzzle is coming and we are developing."

Frank Lampard believes Chelsea's Tammy Abraham is more than capable of filling the void Harry Kane's injury will create in the England team.

Tottenham striker and England captain Kane is expected to be out until at least April due to a hamstring injury.

It means the forward will miss friendlies against Italy and Denmark in March. If there are no complications with his recovery, however, Kane should be fit to feature in Gareth Southgate's Euro 2020 squad.

In the meantime, Lampard insists Chelsea's leading scorer Abraham, who has 12 Premier League goals to his name this term, can thrive for the national team.

"I think he should always be thinking that. He's not silly, you know who your competitors are, whether it's trying to get into our team or the England team," Lampard told a news conference when asked if Abraham should be thinking of replacing Kane.

"The thing I love about Tammy is it won't just be Kane – he'll do well to look at Kane and take some markers from his game – but I know Tammy will be watching every type of striker and trying to improve himself at all times.

"That's the only important thing, that he concentrates himself because the rest will fall into place if he does that."

Lampard also thinks Abraham has lived up to the billing as Chelsea's number nine, and is glad he took the decision to hand the youngster the squad number.

"Really impressed. It was my decision to give it to him purely on his personality in pre-season," Lampard added.

"His personality looked like one that was like 'Yes please I want that, I want to be Chelsea's number nine'. That's an easy thing at that point to say and to feel, but to then go and produce like he has done is a great start.

"It's probably at that stage where everyone expects Tammy to play well to affect games in a big way. That brings a new challenge and that's his one now."

Jose Mourinho said it would be like having "two new players" as he confirmed Hugo Lloris and Ben Davies should be back in action for Tottenham by the end of January.

Spurs are going through a difficult period, having won only once in their past five matches and lost key players Harry Kane and Moussa Sissoko to serious injuries.

But head coach Mourinho is expecting to have first-choice goalkeeper Lloris and left-back Davies on the pitch by the end of January.

Lloris suffered an elbow injury at the start of October, meaning Paolo Gazzaniga has had to deputise, while Davies has been missing since sustaining ankle ligament damage in Mourinho's first match at the helm on November 23.

"The good news is that before the end of the month we have two new players, Hugo Lloris and Ben Davies. This is good news," Mourinho said in Friday's news conference ahead of facing Liverpool.

"Lloris never played a game for me, Ben played one, and very, very well in a system we were trying to develop, which was only possible with him because he's the one left-back that can play in that inside position, as Danny Rose is a pure left-back, Jan Vertonghen is not a left-back and Ryan Sessegnon is learning how to be a left-back.

"So, Ben is very important for our project. So, it's good news.

"[Lloris' return] is very important. He's the captain with Harry. We lose one, it's nice to recover the other.

"The experience, the way he plays, speaking - it's very important for a goalkeeper to play and speak at the same time.

"We have a goalkeeper that's doing his best and we have confidence in him. For Hugo to be back after such an important injury is good and it opens space in the medical department.

"Some people are leaving the medical room, some people are coming in. Is there an area in the medical department with a plate saying Hugo Lloris? Because he's there every day for the past three months."

Jose Mourinho is hopeful Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy can provide a transfer "solution" as Spurs face a testing few months without star striker Harry Kane.

After a positive start as Spurs coach, Mourinho has seen results take a turn for the worse in recent weeks, with just one win in five across all competitions.

To make matters worse, Spurs have lost Kane and Moussa Sissoko to serious injuries, while Tanguy NDombele continues to struggle with niggling fitness problems.

The club have been linked with making January moves in the transfer market, with Gedson Fernandes of Benfica and Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek rumoured to be key targets.

Spurs chairman Levy has garnered a reputation as a frugal spender in the transfer market, but Mourinho is optimistic the club can capitalise on the right opportunities should they arise.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with pacesetters Liverpool, Mourinho said: "Even the coaches without injuries, without problems in the squad, the coaches with the best squads – let's say Jurgen [Klopp, Liverpool manager], with the best team, with amazing players and an amazing squad, he was happy to get a new player [Takumi Minamino].

"We [managers] are all the same, but the reality is when I came here two months ago, I knew the situation.

"I didn't know that of course I was going to be without Kane and Moussa for so long, but I knew that the situation was about trying to get the best out of the players we have, and that doesn't change, so I'm focused on the work, the game.

"If the boss [Levy] arrives with a solution that can help us to face these difficult months that we are going to have ahead of us, so be it, that's welcome, but if we don't find the right solution, right opportunity, then we are going to wait for the next summer to make the right decisions for the evolution of the team.

"January is a strange market, it's not an easy market to be in. It's a market of opportunity, a market where an opportunity arises and you have the conditions to do it or you do not do it. We have to be calm and not think about the market – let the market think about us."

Kane is not expected to be back in training again until April, meaning he is likely to miss much of the remainder of the season, and although Piatek has been mentioned as a potential short-term replacement, Mourinho says no one can replace his captain.

"Kane is important, irreplaceable," he said. "There's no player who can replace him, and Moussa was playing so well since I arrived, one of our best performers.

"The bad news is that it's not just a couple of weeks then they're back, it's surgery and a long, long time [out].

"If you allow me, I would like to not speak about Kane and Moussa until they are back, so let's try talking about everything to do with them today.

"It's normal everyone wants to speak about Harry, but I don't want to speak too much because then I'll get depressed and then you are going to say I'm miserable and depressed and in a bad mood, so it's better to talk about things that make me laugh."

Tottenham and England are set for a spell without talisman Harry Kane following his injury.

The striker suffered a ruptured tendon of his left hamstring and will require surgery, meaning he is not expected back in Spurs training until April.

With Jose Mourinho's men off the pace in the Premier League while England prepare for Euro 2020, the news comes as a blow to both club and country.

Using Opta data, we take a look at just how Kane's absence impacts both Tottenham and England.

 

SHOT-SHY

It should come as no surprise that Spurs and England shoot less often when Kane is not playing, with the forward boasting the ability and willingness to score from just about anywhere.

But Kane is also a wonderful playmaker, often dropping deep to create space and pick passes for runners such as Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura, Raheem Sterling or Marcus Rashford.

Since the start of the 2014-15 season, Kane has played 187 Premier League matches, in which Tottenham averaged 15.6 shots per game. In the 24 fixtures he has missed, that figure drops to 14.9 shots per game.

The difference is more marked with England. Since his international debut in March 2015, the Three Lions have attempted 15.1 shots per game with Kane in the side (45 matches) and 12.3 without (16 matches).

 

GOALS DRY UP – AT BOTH ENDS...

So it follows that with fewer shots come fewer goals. Spurs and England certainly feel Kane's absence when it comes to putting the ball in the net.

The London club have scored 359 times across his Premier League matches since 2014-15, an average of 1.9 per game. They net 1.3 per game without him.

England score a hugely impressive average of 2.3 goals per game – 103 in total – when the top scorer in Euro 2020 qualifying is involved. That drops to that same mark of 1.3 when he is missing.

Interestingly, though, England's defence is statistically meaner when Kane is absent, conceding 0.5 goals per game, down from 0.9.

Tottenham concede roughly one goal per game regardless of their front man's availability.

 

WINNING WOES

Tottenham were already struggling to finish in the top four in this season's Premier League with Kane in the side, so Mourinho really has his work cut out now.

Their top-flight win rate since 2014-15 falls from 57.2 per cent to a relatively ordinary 45.8 per cent when Kane is not involved.

They have lost seven of the 24 games he has not been involved in, while their points return drops from 1.9 per game to 1.6.

Although England may concede more often on average with Kane on the pitch, they are a much better side going forward when they can count on their captain, winning 64.4 per cent of matches with him compared to 50 per cent without.

Harry Kane is not expected to return to training until April in a huge blow to both Tottenham and England.

The Spurs striker suffered a ruptured tendon in his left hamstring in the Premier League defeat to Southampton this month, and the club confirmed on Thursday he would undergo surgery.

The latest estimate for Kane's lay-off should concern Tottenham fans, with the team sixth and six points off a Champions League place, while England manager Gareth Southgate will also be worried as Euro 2020 approaches.

So, will Spurs stick or twist in the transfer market? And does Southgate have an alternative to his talismanic captain?

SON TO THE FORE AT SPURS?

Jose Mourinho had insisted prior to this injury he had little interest in January business. While that must surely change with this news, Tottenham have rarely been willing to spend big in recent seasons.

Might their new head coach instead tinker with his existing options, then? Son Heung-min would appear the obvious candidate to take on Kane's striking role.

The winger started up front at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Sunday and deputised well for Kane for a stretch last season, prompting suggestions the South Korea star might play better without his most lethal attacking team-mate.

Lucas Moura, who also led the line in Kane's absence last season, and Dele Alli are options to join Son in attack, while Troy Parrott – 17 years old with just two senior appearances to his name – would hope to be handed a more prominent role.

 

PIPPING RIVALS TO PIATEK?

Spurs finally looked to have suitable cover for Kane in the form of Fernando Llorente last season, only for the veteran to depart for Napoli on a free at the end of the campaign.

Now, Tottenham are not the only English side searching for goals in the mid-season transfer window, with Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace all short in that department, but Mourinho's men should have the profile to blow those rivals out of the water.

One man linked with Spurs, Newcastle and Villa in recent days is Krzysztof Piatek, the Milan striker now at risk of slipping to the fringes of the Rossoneri first team following Zlatan Ibrahimovic's return to San Siro.

Piatek was one of Europe's form strikers last season and, while his goals tally is far more modest this term – he only has four in 18 appearances in Serie A – Tottenham may have little choice but to take a risk. Milan reportedly want £30million rather than a loan.

 

ENGLAND U-TURN FOR VARDY?

Kane was the leading scorer in Euros qualifying with 12 goals and had been set to star for England in a finals tournament that will feature seven matches, including the semi-finals and final, on home soil at Wembley.

But perhaps Southgate is better equipped than Mourinho to deal with the absence of his key striker, with four of the Premier League's top five marksmen this term eligible for England.

Leading the way with 17 goals is Jamie Vardy, who has not featured for his country since the 2018 World Cup, citing in part his reduced role behind Kane in the pecking order as he stepped away from international football.

Yet with Kane facing a race against time to be fit for the finals, Vardy might now find himself a prominent figure if he could be tempted back into the squad.

 

FIVE YEARS ON, ANOTHER INGS CAP?

England are not short of options, as the Golden Boot race suggests, with Tammy Abraham in top form and both Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling capable of playing through the middle.

But Danny Ings will surely see this as his opportunity to add to his sole Three Lions cap earned in 2015 – he replaced Kane from the bench on that occasion – before awful injury troubles at Liverpool.

The Southampton striker, who scored the only goal in the game Kane suffered his injury, is enjoying the best season of his top-flight career, scoring 13 times already.

Southgate surely must at least assess Ings as an option in the March internationals, while Callum Wilson will hope to return to form for Bournemouth in order to stake his own case. Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin may also be in with a chance.

England captain Harry Kane is to undergo surgery on his left hamstring and will be out of action until at least April, his club Tottenham have announced.

The striker suffered his injury on New Year's Day when scoring a goal against Southampton that was ruled out for offside.

Spurs have specified the setback as a "ruptured tendon" and it means Kane is set to miss most of the rest of the Premier League season.

For England, the news comes as a blow to boss Gareth Southgate given Kane will miss a significant chunk of the build-up to Euro 2020, being ruled out of March friendlies against Italy and Denmark.

However, provided that he returns to training on time, Kane should be able to build up his match fitness over the closing weeks of 2019-20.

Tottenham said in a statement: "Following ongoing assessment by our medical staff over the past week, we can confirm that Harry Kane will undergo surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in his left hamstring.

"The striker suffered the injury during our Premier League fixture against Southampton last week and specialists have advised surgery after further review of the injury.

"The decision to undergo surgery is not expected to impact the timeframe that the England captain will be sidelined, with the expectation that he will return to training in April."

Kane, 26, has scored 11 goals in 20 Premier League appearances this term.

His record of 32 goals in 45 games demonstrates his importance to England. He won the Golden Boot as top scorer at the 2018 World Cup, netting six times in Russia as the Three Lions reached the semi-finals.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho faces a struggle to find a suitable replacement for Kane, given his influence over recent seasons.

Mourinho has Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura as options to lead the attack, along with teenager Troy Parrott.

However, with the transfer window open there is the option of trawling the market for a short-term fix to the problem, with Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek linked with a move.

The injury could scarcely have come at a worse time for Spurs, who are desperate to claw their way into the top four to secure Champions League football next season.

They sit sixth in the Premier League, six points behind fourth-place Chelsea, and host leaders Liverpool on Saturday.

There is never a good time to face the current Liverpool team but Jose Mourinho's beleaguered Tottenham team could well do without meeting the Premier League leaders on this particular weekend.

Spurs are winless in their last three games in all competitions and have won just one of their last four in the top flight, leaving them sixth and a staggering 28 points behind the Reds after 21 games.

Liverpool, in stark contrast, can rack up their 12th consecutive Premier League win if they triumph at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and will be well rested having fielded a team largely made up of fringe players in their 1-0 FA Cup victory over Everton.

At their best Liverpool look unstoppable, but Tottenham have only lost one league home game in four months and Mourinho would love nothing more than to put his side's season back on track by putting a speedbump under the Anfield juggernaut.

 

ACID TEST FOR SPURS' POUROUS DEFENCE

Since Mourinho's arrival, Spurs have kept just one clean sheet and any Tottenham fans anticipating a more miserly rearguard action under the Portuguese have been disappointed thus far.

Defensive fragility has been Tottenham's Achilles heel all season, and their record of two domestic clean sheets this term is bettered by every top-flight club except stragglers Norwich City.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have scored in their last 29 top-flight matches and are steaming towards Manchester United's record of finding the net in 36 consecutive Premier League games, which the Red Devils set in November 2008.

Stopping Liverpool means stopping Sadio Mane, who has been involved in 11 goals in his last nine Premier League appearances, scoring six goals and assisting five.

Mane picked up the African Player of the Year award earlier in the week and will no doubt be in the mood to celebrate with a goal in North London.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: JAN VERTONGHEN v VIRGIL VAN DIJK

Among those tasked with stopping Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino et al will be Tottenham centre-back Jan Vertonghen, who has started in 14 of Spurs' 21 league games this season.

The Belgium international's contract is up at the end of the season and his lacklustre performance in Tottenham's 1-1 FA Cup draw with Middlesbrough prompted calls for him to be let go by sections of the club's support.

But in answering his critics Vertonghen might point to his duel success rate of 74.02 per cent this season, which stands up well against the imperious Virgil van Dijk who has won 75.58 per cent of his Premier League duels this season.

Van Dijk has been successful in 64.29 per cent of his tackles this term, while Vertonghen has won 58.82 per cent of his, and Van Dijk's nine blocks put him just one ahead of his Tottenham counterpart.

Van Dijk dramatically outshines Vertonghen in the air, winning 101 aerial balls compared to the Belgian's 42, and the Dutchman can boast seven league clean sheets this season.

Perhaps most worrying for Mourinho is that the 32-year-old Vertonghen has been dribbled past on 10 occasions across the course of the campaign - seven more times than Van Dijk, who so rarely gets beaten on the ground or in the air.

FORM GUIDE

Liverpool have scored seven goals without reply in their last two Premier League away games, which extended their winning streak on the road to four consecutive games.

But Spurs do have an omen in their favour: in their last 10 home league games against sides starting the day top of the table, Tottenham have won six (D1 L3).

That said, getting a result against Liverpool requires Spurs to break down the Premier League's meanest defence, and they will have to do so without the injured Harry Kane.

Tottenham have won just two of their last 12 games in all competitions without Kane (D4 L6) and when the England striker has been missing this season his team-mates have failed to win at all (D3 L1).

HISTORY SAYS

Recent meetings with Liverpool have not gone well for Tottenham, who have won just one of their last 14 Premier League games against the Reds (D4 L9), winning 4-1 at Wembley in October 2017.

It was not always this way: Liverpool lost five consecutive games at Tottenham between 2008 and 2012, but in their last six league visits they have claimed three wins and two draws.

Victory on Saturday would mark Liverpool's fourth consecutive win in London - a feat they have not achieved since October 1989.

Liverpool's tally of 58 points from 20 Premier League games this season has already eclipsed their totals from the entirety of the 2011-12 and 1998-99 campaigns, and their charge towards the title will take some stopping at Spurs.

Jose Mourinho said neither Lucas Moura nor Son Heung-Min are adequate replacements for injured striker Harry Kane after watching his Tottenham side draw 1-1 at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.

Lucas scored a second-half header to level the match at the Riverside Stadium, where an Ashley Fletcher strike had put Middlesbrough ahead in a game that left Mourinho "frustrated".

Tottenham are without a win in their last three games in all competitions and Mourinho said injuries to Kane, Tanguy NDombele, Hugo Lloris and Danny Rose were hampering his side's progress.

After starting the game with Son as a lone striker and later moving Lucas up alongside him in a front two, Mourinho told reporters: "We have what we have and we stick with them. The boys did what they can.

"You cannot transform Lucas or Son in a number nine like Harry Kane."

"We changed things and took our risks. Our team in the last 30 minutes we didn't even have a midfield player," added Mourinho, referring to his decision to replace Harry Winks and Ryan Sessegnon with Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela.

"We played with six attacking players without a striker. We took our risks."

Tottenham are sixth in the Premier League despite having lost three and drawn one of their last seven games in the competition, and Mourinho admitted the cup brought little respite on a frustrating afternoon.

Away form is a particular problem for the Portuguese coach, whose side have won two of their seven games on the road since he took charge on November 20, and he said earning a replay on home turf against Middlesbrough was no disaster.

"Sometimes the same way players are frustrated on the pitch, I was frustrated on the touchline," said Mourinho. "Everyone in the stadium had a real cup match.

"It was a difficult match. If football was about how many times you arrive in scoring positions, we would win by a huge score.

"1-1 is not a disaster. We take the game home. We are in trouble with so many injuries. I took the players today that are available."

Harry Kane suffered a tear to his left hamstring in the New Year's Day defeat to Southampton, Tottenham have confirmed.

A short statement on Spurs' website did not provide an update on the severity of the tear or a timescale for his recovery.

The club added that medical staff will continue to monitor the injury and that treatment is ongoing.

Speaking to the media prior to Tottenham's FA Cup third-round clash with Middlesbrough, head coach Jose Mourinho said he feared the worst over the injury.

"I am more on bad news than good news, that's my feeling," he said.

"What the player felt, Harry Kane leaving a match, the way he did it, he didn't think twice, it didn't take him two seconds to realise the severity of the situation, some opinions from the medical department before the test results. I don't think we're going to have good news.

"I'm not great on grades. I'm great on experience and feelings, and again I'm not expecting very good news.

"I think we're going to lose him for some period and because I am totally convinced of that I can anticipate that I don't want to here with you crying in every press conference now.

"Everybody knows who he is, what he is, what he means for the team, the fans, the club.

"His quality, the routines that the team has playing with him, every minute of every game he doesn't play we miss, so every match that he doesn't play we're going to miss him."

Kane posted a tweet shortly before Spurs' statement, which merely read: "Head up. Tough times don't last, tough people do."

A grade one tear would typically result in an absence of three weeks, but a more severe grade two injury could see Kane miss around two months of action.

The 26-year-old has scored 11 goals in 20 Premier League appearances this term for a Spurs side who sit sixth, six points adrift of the top four, having followed up a 2-2 draw at Norwich City with a 1-0 loss to Saints on New Year's Day.

Harry Kane suffered a tear to his left hamstring in the New Year's Day defeat to Southampton, Tottenham have confirmed.

A short statement on Spurs' website did not provide an update on the severity of the tear or a timescale for his recovery.

The club added that medical staff will continue to monitor the injury and that treatment is ongoing.

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