It's fair to say Harry Kane was something of a late bloomer on the international stage, at least in comparison to the man he has surpassed as England's all-time leading goalscorer.

While Wayne Rooney was named in Euro 2004's Team of the Tournament at the age of 18, Kane was 22 by the time he first appeared at a major international competition.

Despite Rooney's head start, the prospect of Kane beating his record of 53 England goals has seemed inevitable for some time after the Tottenham striker took on a talismanic role for Gareth Southgate's side. 

Kane could have broken the record at last the 2022 World Cup. He had already scored one penalty in the quarter-final against France and, with England 2-1 down, he stepped up to take another at Al Bayt Stadium.

Yet his effort soared over, England's chances of World Cup success crashing down around their captain.

Fitting, then, that it was from the penalty spot that Kane broke Rooney's record by netting his 54th England goal, as he put the Three Lions 2-0 up ahead Italy in their first match of 2023.

He has now cemented his place in the pantheon of England greats.

With Kane assuming his place as the country's greatest goalscorer, Stats Perform looks at the legacy he has built on the international stage.

Stepping out of Rooney's shadow and repaying Southgate's faith

Kane wasted no time in introducing himself on the international stage.

Having replaced Rooney as a substitute against Lithuania in March 2015, the Tottenham striker needed just 79 seconds to net in a 4-0 win.

Since 1872, Kane is one of just six players to score inside two minutes on his England debut, while that strike made him the first to do so since Gerry Hitchens in 1961.

 

However, after England's dismal Euro 2016 exit at the hands of Iceland, Kane had scored only five goals in 17 international appearances. Retrospectively, it wasn't quite the flying start one may have expected from a future great.

While Kane entered that tournament having won the Premier League's Golden Boot, he was uninspired as Roy Hodgson sought to find space for both Rooney and Daniel Sturridge in an unbalanced team. 

That stunning defeat in Nice, as well as a corruption scandal that later led to the departure of Sam Allardyce after just one game at the helm, made 2016 a year to forget for England.

However, the appointment of Southgate that November, coupled with the new manager's decision to drop a declining Rooney the following March, set the stage for a dramatic improvement from the Three Lions' new talisman.  

All but five of Kane's 54 international goals have been scored under Southgate, the highest tally scored by any England player under a particular manager by some distance – Gary Lineker is second with 35 goals under Bobby Robson.

The man for the big occasion 

The idea that the England shirt can weigh heavily upon those who regularly star at club level has been a common theme for decades.

Of Rooney's 53 international goals, for instance, only one was scored at a World Cup – an ultimately inconsequential effort in 2014's decisive 2-1 loss to Uruguay in Sao Paulo.

The Manchester United great may have hit the net seven times across his six major tournaments, but four came in his remarkable breakout campaign at Euro 2004, and he was continually criticised for failing to carry his club form onto the international stage.

Rooney is not the only England star to suffer that fate. Frank Lampard scored three times at Euro 2004 but did not net at another major tournament. Fellow midfielder Steven Gerrard hit 21 goals for Three Lions, but just three came at tournaments. 

Despite arriving at the 2018 World Cup having plundered 30 goals across the 2017-18 Premier League season – his most prolific campaign in the competition – Kane was seemingly open to the same criticisms, but a Golden Boot-winning tournament changed perceptions.

 

Kane as England's tournament specialist

While defeats to Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Italy in the Euro 2020 final have left Southgate battling accusations of underachievement, England's very presence in some of the biggest international fixtures has owed much to Kane.

Kane's total of six goals in Russia was enough to see off the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Kylian Mbappe for the Golden Boot, and only Cristiano Ronaldo and Patrik Schick (both five) bettered his tally of four strikes as England went agonisingly close to Euro 2020 glory.

Having netted against Senegal and France at Qatar 2022, Kane's tally of 12 goals at major tournaments is an outright England record, beating Lineker's total of 10, which came exclusively at World Cups.

With Kane now having eight World Cup goals to his name and looking likely to participate in at least one more edition, the 29-year-old could also claim Lineker's status as England's top marksman in FIFA's flagship tournament.

Nevertheless, some might accuse him of "stat padding" against weak opponents. After all, Kane has scored more international goals against San Marino (five) than any other nation.

However, he has also often been the scourge of the world's elite, as England's old rivals Germany – the opponents for four of Kane's England goals – will attest. 

 

Cementing Kane's legacy: Does more history await in 2026? 

Brazil great Ronaldo, Miroslav Klose, Mario Kempes, Gerd Muller and Eusebio are among the legends to have claimed the honour of top-scoring at a World Cup. None of them – nor any other player – has done so at two separate tournaments.

Kane ultimately could not repeat his 2018 exploits in Qatar. But in terms of other records and future success, age is – just about – on his side. The Spurs striker will be 33 when the 2026 World Cup rolls around. He will likely have set a daunting target for any future England strikers to chase.

Troubling Klose's all-time record of 16 World Cup goals may be unrealistic but claiming a spot in the top five of that list – and beating Pele's tally of 12 – appears a plausible target. 

While Kane's England legacy may be chiefly judged on whether he can inspire the team to bring football home for the first time since 1966, his international goalscoring feats are worthy of lofty praise regardless.

If Kane wins a major trophy during his England career or not, his contribution on the big stage means he should be remembered as one of his country's best ever.

Harry Kane has become England's all-time top scorer in men's international football, passing Wayne Rooney with his first-half penalty against Italy.

The Tottenham forward converted from the spot to grab his 54th goal for the Three Lions after a VAR check deemed Giovanni Di Lorenzo to have handled the ball.

Kane had been tied with Rooney following the World Cup in Qatar, missing the chance to own the record outright when he blazed his quarter-final penalty over the crossbar against France.

That delayed the England captain until this latest international break, in which he belatedly eclipsed Rooney's 53 goals.

Having netted his landmark goal as he earned his 81st cap, Kane required considerably fewer matches to make history than Rooney, who played 120 times for his country.

Rooney had moved beyond Bobby Charlton's long-standing record of 49 back in 2015, later also beating the World Cup winner to become Manchester United's all-time leading marksman.

Kane already owns the Tottenham record after surpassing Jimmy Greaves earlier this year.

Chelsea seem to have resigned themselves to making a major loss on Romelu Lukaku, who has only netted five times on loan at Inter this term.

According to a Football Insider report, the Blues are ready to move him on in at the end of the season, with Inter unlikely to try to extend his stay in Milan.

Chelsea spent £97.5milion to bring Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge in August 2021, but they are unlikely to get anywhere near that now.

TOP STORY – GERMAN CHAMPIONS LINE UP SHOCK LUKAKU MOVE

Bayern Munich are lining up a shock move for Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku to bolster their attacking options, claims Fichajes.

The report claims Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann is an admirer of the Belgium striker, who he believes is one of the world's best forwards if injury free.

Bayern will not commence negotiations with Chelsea until the end of the season. The German champions had been linked with Harry Kane as they look for someone to replace Robert Lewandowski, who left for Barcelona last year.

Calciomercato reports that Chelsea may try to land a deal with Roma with a swap deal involving Tammy Abraham.

 

ROUND-UP

– 90min claims Manchester City have reignited their interest in signing 19-year-old Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Florian Wirtz following a long-term knee injury which forced him to miss the 2022 World Cup. Fabrizio Romano claims Real Madrid will compete for the German's services too.

Tottenham are interested in Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, reports ESPN. Henderson is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest from United, who could use Spurs' interest as leverage in a deal for Harry Kane, per the report

– Leeds United forward Wilfried Gnonto is drawing interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, while 90min claims Juventus and Napoli are among a list of Italian clubs tracking him too.

– Fabrizio Romano claims Barcelona on the cusp of agreeing to a deal with Athletic Bilbao centre-back Inigo Martinez to join the Blaugrana on a free transfer in the off-season.

– Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to let Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches exit amid interest from Milan along with Premier League clubs Aston Villa, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Tottenham and Wolves, reports 90min.

– Football London reports Arsenal are ready to ramp up their interest in Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi with a bid to come in the coming months, although he has a €60m release clause in his contract.

Harry Kane his World Cup disappointment behind him, England manager Gareth Southgate believes.

The Three Lions captain missed a decisive penalty in the quarter-final defeat to France in Qatar, continuing the nation's long wait for international glory.

Kane would have broken Wayne Rooney's international record had he scored the penalty, as well as potentially guiding England into the last four, but he fired his attempt over the bar and the Three Lions lost 2-1.

He is not alone in penalty heartache for England, however, with team-mates Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho all missing spot-kicks in the shoot-out defeat to Italy at Wembley in the Euro 2020 final.

Going back further, Southgate himself missed from the spot in England's semi-final defeat to Germany at Euro 1996, meaning Kane is only the latest in a series of stars to suffer penalty heartache.

However, Southgate feels that will not hold back the Tottenham striker and backs him as one of the all-time greats.

"We've seen that with his performances and goals for his club that he has put it behind him," he said.

"He knows he's going to have added motivation tomorrow [Wednesday] night to come back and show everybody what he is about again in an England shirt. For us that is a good position.

"It's always difficult to compare across ages, there a lot who I didn't see because I wasn't alive. But because of his goalscoring alone, that puts him in the upper echelons of that group.

"He provides so much more for the team than that, his quality of passing, his vision, his touch, he's an outstanding player and we're very fortunate to have him."

The honour of being England's leading goalscorer is almost certain to fall to Kane, who is tied with Rooney on 53 for the Three Lions, and Declan Rice feels it would be a just reward.

"I think you can see every time he scores a goal how much it means to him. Every goal, every training session, everything he does is at such a high level," the midfielder added.

"If he does break the record tomorrow, it will be thoroughly deserved. He is a real leader and a lot of us will be very happy for him if he breaks the record tomorrow night."

Tottenham and Antonio Conte appears set to part ways imminently following the Italian's explosive rant after their 3-3 draw with Southampton on Saturday.

Conte's Spurs contract is due to expire at the end of this season and he has been linked with a return to Italy to be closer to his family.

Spurs have been eliminated from the Champions League and FA Cup but remain firmly in the race to finish in the Premier League's top four, currently sitting fourth but fifth-placed Newcastle United are two points behind with two games in hand.

TOP STORY – SPURS TURN TO EINTRACHT BOSS IN SHOCK MOVE

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is looking to Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Oliver Glasner as a potential replacement for Antonio Conte, according to Bild.

The report claims Spurs have already made contact with the Austrian's representatives about the surprise move.

Glasner is yet to sign an extension on his deal from Frankfurt which expires in 2024. Tottenham have Glasner in their sights, having led the Germans to the Europa League title last season.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United and Newcastle United will battle it out to land the signature of Roma forward Paulo Dybala, reports Calciomercatoweb. The Argentinian is set to be available for a bargain price, given he has a release clause for overseas clubs to sign him for just £10.6million (€12m).

– Relevo claims Chelsea are working behind the scenes to make Joao Felix's loan stay at Stamford Bridge permanent beyond this season. The Portuguese joined the Blues in January on a six-month loan from Atletico Madrid, for whom he penned an extension until 2027 on the eve of that move.

– The Times claims Tottenham will demand £100m upfront for captain and star striker Harry Kane, who is out of contract in 2024. Manchester United have been linked with Kane, while Bayern Munich previously showed an interest, although that has reportedly waned.

Juventus' pursuit of Chelsea's midfielder N'Golo Kante has been dealt a blow, with the Frenchman unlikely to leave Stamford Bridge, reports Tuttomercatoweb.

– Football Transfers claims Arsenal will look to tie down Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard on a long-term deal until 2030. His deal expires in 2025.

Arsenal are interested in Salzburg's 22-year-old forward Noah Okafor, claims The Daily Mail. Tottenham and Milan are also keen on the Swiss talent.

Gareth Southgate saw no need to lift Harry Kane after the striker's penalty miss sent England out of the World Cup.

Kane missed a spot-kick late on against France in the quarter-finals, having previously beaten his Tottenham team-mate Hugo Lloris from 12 yards in a thrilling clash that Les Bleus won 2-1.

Yet that failure has not seemed to disrupt Kane's fine season with Tottenham. The 29-year-old has scored 10 goals since the season resumed, with his latest coming against Southampton on Saturday.

And Southgate never felt he had to "pick up the phone" to his captain, who matched Wayne Rooney as England's record goalscorer with his successful penalty against France.

"I don't think it's a big hurdle really," Southgate said of Kane, who has been named in England's squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine.

"I had a good chat with him while we were away. I sent him a message before he went back to his club and then I took a step back and had a look at how it was, and I haven't really felt the need to pick the phone up.

"It is there in his performances for Spurs. Sometimes you can busy yourself and look for a pat on the back by getting in touch with a player but I can't take any credit for what he's done."

Kane became Spurs' leading goalscorer in the club's history when he netted against Manchester City in February, surpassing the great Jimmy Greaves.

"What I've observed is a player still super-confident, still ready to perform, still hungry to score goals," Southgate continued.

"He's obviously gone through the personal landmark with Spurs and then there's this one that he's going to nail with us at some point.

"I actually spoke to him earlier this week, but I've been able to take a step back and let him get on with it. Sometimes there's no need to interfere."

Other players who have overcome a setback while on England duty to thrive at club level this season are Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Manchester United star Marcus Rashford.

Both enjoyed strong World Cups, having failed to score from the spot in the penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in the final of Euro 2020.

Saka has scored 10 goals and assisted a further nine in the Premier League for leaders Arsenal, while Rashford has netted 27 times for United.

"[He] makes me smile. You feel a warmth," Southgate said of Saka.

"You feel a fabulous human being who has broken his way into the team at Arsenal at a time they weren't playing so well – and excelled. Now here they are pushing for the title – and he's excelling again.

"He's recovered from the obvious setback with us. He has the warmth of the fans with him who can see what he's about, can see the genuine nature of his personality.

"He's a top player. He's more and more of a goal threat, he's creating chances, he is totally reliable without the ball. He's a proper team player. I can't speak highly enough of him."

On Rashford, Southgate enthused: "You can see the confidence. He is benefiting from the environment at the club.

"He's in that flow that every player and athlete wants to be in. You can't remain in it forever and you have to try to get back into it when you are out of it, but he is definitely in that moment and he must feel super-confident."

Eric Dier conceded Tottenham only had themselves to blame after a late collapse at bottom-of-the-table Southampton meant they were forced to settle for a 3-3 draw.

Spurs led 3-1 with 13 minutes remaining, but Theo Walcott got a goal back for Saints before James Ward-Prowse converted a stoppage-time penalty after Pape Sarr was adjudged to have fouled Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Antonio Conte appeared to be furious at the decision, but Dier acknowledged the result should have already been put to bed by that point of the match.

"We only have ourselves to blame," the Spurs defender told Premier League Productions.

"Sloppy mistakes. We lost possession easily and didn't have control of the game at 3-1 when we should have. 

"We conceded really poor goals and should not let them back into the game. They lost both their centre-backs [to injury] and we should have caused them a lot more problems."

The draw for Spurs on Saturday means Manchester United and Newcastle United continue to hold the upper hand in the race to secure a Premier League top-four finish.

Spurs are a point behind Erik ten Hag's side having played two games more, while they lead Newcastle by just two points, despite the Magpies holding two games in hand.

"There will be lots of ups and downs for everybody fighting for top four and relegation," added Dier.

"It will definitely go down to the last couple of weeks of the season, and we need to find some consistency."

Ward-Prowse held his nerve to score past ex-Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster, capping an influential performance that had seen him rack up a game-high five key passes prior to the vital spot-kick.

"Yes, there was a lot of pressure," he said about the penalty.

"I know Fraser very well, he used to be my next-door neighbour, so I've taken a few penalties against him in my garden with my little boy, so we have something going on there."

Asked if Saints can avoid relegation, he replied: "Of course. You have to have belief. We're in the mix, and we have to be positive and look up the table."

And Southampton manager Ruben Selles was thrilled to take momentum into the break in club action.

"You know the feeling when you go to the international break that you did something big," he said.

"It feels great, and we need to take all that we can from it; it is a great moment. The players showed character. It feels great and I'm very proud.

"I don't think we deserved to be 3-1 down, but we showed character and the crowd helped us. Once we scored the second one, we had all the energy.

"The players want to fight for each other."

Tottenham were stunned by a controversial stoppage-time penalty from James Ward-Prowse as a 3-3 draw at rock-bottom Southampton saw Spurs' grip on fourth loosened.

Antonio Conte's men appeared to be heading third in the Premier League, providing a fine response to Newcastle United putting pressure on them a day earlier, but Saints battled back from 3-1 down to rescue a point.

Pedro Porro's first Premier League goal put Spurs ahead at the end of a stop-start first half, before Saints levelled through Che Adams early in the second.

Harry Kane and Ivan Perisic then seemed to have put the game beyond Saints, but Theo Walcott earned them a lifeline and Ward-Prowse's emphatic late spot-kick left Spurs reeling.

Top Premier League clubs Manchester United, Newcastle United and Chelsea are said to be monitoring Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele ahead of his release clause activating.

Dembele is in his sixth season with Barcelona, having racked up a total of 40 goals in his 178 appearances.

He remained a first-team regular to start this campaign, with 14 starts from his 18 LaLiga appearances, before suffering a serious hamstring injury in late January.

The France international is yet to return nearly two months later, but despite his troubling physical problems, England's elite believe he could represent terrific value due to his contract situation.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA'S DEMBELE AVAILABLE AT A DISCOUNT

Dembele was purchased from Borussia Dortmund for €105million plus add-ons back in 2017, but according to Calciomercato he will be available for just €50m (£44m) in the upcoming transfer window.

His contract is set to expire after one more season, and if the club do not secure a long-term extension, Dembele will have his release clause activated.

The €50m figure is said to be more than enticing to England's wealthy clubs, as it is considered a bargain compared to the going rate for other world-class wingers.

Serie A giants Juventus and Inter are also said to be fans of Dembele's, but the price tag is too rich for their current financial situation unless they sell some players to raise funds.

 

ROUND-UP

– Foot Mercato is reporting Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi is considering a move back to Barcelona next season, with his father said to be in regular communication with the club.

Real Madrid are monitoring 29-year-old Tottenham striker Harry Kane as a potential successor to Karim Benzema, per the Daily Mail.

– According to Calciomercato, Barcelona and Tottenham are both fans of 26-year-old Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat, who is expected to leave the club in the upcoming transfer window.

– Goal is reporting Brighton and Hove Albion are prepared to make 25-year-old winger Kaoru Mitoma the highest earner in club history, in order to fend off interest from Real Madrid, Manchester City and Arsenal.

– Former player Jose Enrique revealed on his live stream that Liverpool have agreed to terms for 20-year-old Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, who Enrique shares an agent with.

Arsenal crashed out of the Europa League with a penalty shoot-out defeat to Sporting CP on Thursday, and Mikel Arteta will be looking for an instant response in the Premier League.

The title is now their sole focus, and with Manchester City in FA Cup action this weekend, the Gunners can move eight points clear at the top should they beat Crystal Palace, who on Friday sacked Arsenal great Patrick Vieira after an 11-game winless run.

Palace are 12th but only three points above the relegation zone, and that picture could change by the time they play on Sunday.

After Nottingham Forest welcome Newcastle United on Friday, Bournemouth visit Aston Villa, Leicester City have a tough trip to Brentford, Southampton host Tottenham, and Wolves and Leeds United face off in another big match at the bottom of the table. Everton, who are also in the relegation scrap, play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Here, with the help of Opta data, Stats Perform has provided some key insights and predictions.

Southampton v Tottenham 

Between December 2019 and January 2021, Southampton won five of six Premier League games against sides starting the day in the top four of the table (L1). However, since then they are winless in 15 such games (D6 L9), conceding 43 goals and scoring just nine in return.

Southampton have scored at least once in each of their last 14 Premier League games against Spurs, since a 2-0 home loss in December 2015, but they have kept just one clean sheet in their last 21 against them, when they won 1-0 in January 2020.

In all competitions, Tottenham have lost each of their last four away games, the last three of which without scoring. This is Spurs' longest run of away defeats in succession since May 2019 (five in a row), while not since January 1983 have they lost four straight away matches without scoring (a run of five).

Best bet – Harry Kane to score or assist: Harry Kane has been directly involved in 17 goals in 15 Premier League appearances against Southampton (11 goals, six assists), having only had a hand in more goals against Leicester (22). The England captain has scored nine away goals in the competition this season – no other player in Premier League history has netted 10 times on the road in more than four separate campaigns, whereas Kane is on the verge of doing so for the seventh time.

Long shot – Richarlison to score: Richarlison was desperately unlucky not to break his duck for Spurs in the win over Forest last week, with a fierce finish ruled out for offside. The Brazil forward has netted five times in his last seven league appearances against Saints, making them his favourite team to play against when it comes to goals, but he is yet to score in the Premier League this season.

Opta prediction: Spurs are made favourites for this one by Opta's supercomputer, with Antonio Conte's team given a 54 per cent chance of victory. There is roughly a one in four chance of a draw (25.7 per cent), while Southampton, who prop up the table but could move as high as 15th with a win, are given a 20.3 per cent chance of claiming the spoils.

 

Wolves v Leeds United

Having been unbeaten in six league games against Leeds between 2017 and 2021 (W5 D1), Wolves have lost their last two against the Whites. Indeed, Leeds are looking to complete their first league double over Wolves since 2015-16 and their first in the top flight since 1973-74.

Leeds, who will be without key midfielder Tyler Adams due to a hamstring issue, have earned four points from their three Premier League games under Javi Gracia (W1 D1 L1), as many as they had in their 10 games before his arrival (W0 D4 L6). However, they are winless in their last seven away matches (D2 L5). 

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui has won both of his previous meetings with Gracia in all competitions. These games came in the 2020-21 campaign, with Lopetegui's Sevilla beating Gracia's Valencia 1-0 in LaLiga and 3-0 in the Copa Del Rey.

Best bet – Wolves to avoid defeat: No side have fewer away wins (one) or away points (six) in the Premier League this season than Leeds, who have lost nine of their 13 away league games this term. Wolves, meanwhile, have won three of their last four home league games (L1), more than they had in their previous 12 (W2 D3 L7). 

Long shot – Wolves to score over two goals: Wolves have a shot conversion rate of 6.8 per cent in the Premier League this season, their lowest in any of their nine campaigns in the competition. Only once have they scored more than twice in a top-flight game this term, when they beat Liverpool 3-0 in February.

Opta prediction: Expect this one to be close, based on the prediction model, which makes Wolves the slight favourites (39.3 per cent), although Leeds are at 31.3 per cent. A draw is certainly feasible and is given a 29.4 per cent chance.

 

Chelsea v Everton

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 27 Premier League home games against Everton (W15 D12) since a 1-0 loss in November 1994. Against no side have they ever had a longer unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge in their top-flight history. Everton managed a 1-1 draw with a makeshift side in the corresponding fixture last season, but a win still evades them.

Before this season, Everton had beaten Chelsea in each of the last four Premier League campaigns, although all of their victories were at home. They have not beaten the Blues in five straight league seasons since the 1930s.

Everton have won three of their seven Premier League games under Sean Dyche so far (D1 L3), as many as they had in their 20 matches under Frank Lampard this season (D6 L11), but again all of those wins have come at home.

Best bet – Chelsea to win: Everton are winless in their last 11 Premier League away games against London sides (D3 L8), failing to score in each of the last four, and Chelsea have only failed to beat the Toffees at home twice since the start of the 2016-17 season.

Long shot – Everton to win 1-0: If the visitors are to claim a victory, expect it to be a cagey one. In fact, 40 per cent (30) of Dyche's 75 Premier League wins have been by a 1-0 scoreline, including his three as Everton boss. Of the 52 managers with at least 50 wins in the competition, only Tony Pulis (42 per cent – 41 of 98) has won a higher share by a 1-0 scoreline.

Opta prediction: Given Everton's torrid form on the road – they have won fewer Premier League away games (three) and earned fewer points on the road (18) than any of the 17 ever-present sides since the start of last season – and dismal record at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are the overwhelming favourites at 54.1 per cent on Opta's model. Everton are handed a slim 19.3 per cent chance of success, while the draw is rated at 26.6 per cent.

 

Arsenal v Crystal Palace 

Palace elected to part ways with Arsenal legend Vieira and could well be further embroiled in the relegation battle by the end of Sunday's game. After all, the Gunners have won their last five Premier League matches, netting at least three goals in four of those, including each of the last three. 

Arsenal have won eight of their nine London derbies in the Premier League this season (D1); in English Football League history, no side have ever won nine all-London match-ups in a single season. Palace, on the other hand, have won just one of their eight derbies this term. The Eagles have, however, avoided defeat in their last four Premier League away games against Arsenal, with each of the last three ending level (W1).

Since his Premier League debut for Arsenal in January, no player has been involved in more goals for the Gunners than Leandro Trossard (six – one goal, five assists). He has five assists in his last four Premier League games, as many as in his previous 64 appearances.

Best bet – Gabriel Martinelli to have 2+ shots on target: After missing the crucial penalty in Arsenal's shoot-out loss to Sporting in Europe, Martinelli will be determined to put things right. He is Arsenal's highest goalscorer in the Premier League this season with 12 goals, including five in his last five appearances. 

Long shot – Palace to keep a clean sheet: Palace have kept just one clean sheet in 22 away league games against Arsenal (49 goals conceded), a goalless draw in January 2021, while the Gunners have scored in all but one of their league games at Emirates Stadium this season.

Opta prediction: Arsenal are the favourites, although given the respective form of these sides, a 54.6 per cent win prediction perhaps feels a bit low – a reflection of Palace's recent unbeaten run at Emirates Stadium. Opta gives the draw a 26.5 per cent chance, while the supercomputer has a Palace win ranked at 18.9 per cent.

Tottenham wish to keep hold of Harry Kane for the rest of the striker's career, according to Antonio Conte, who reiterated his own commitment to Spurs.

Kane's double against Nottingham Forest last time out moved him onto 20 Premier League goals for the season – the sixth time in his career he has achieved that feat.

The England captain has been in sensational form in what has otherwise been an up-and-down campaign for Spurs, whose sole focus for the remainder of the season is on securing a Champions League place.

Kane will be out of contract at the end of next season, though it has been reported Spurs are desperate not to lose the 29-year-old.

While Conte's own future at Spurs appears far from certain, the Italian is convinced Tottenham will do all they can to keep hold of Kane for the rest of his playing days.

"I think this is a question for the club," Conte said in a press conference on Thursday. "For sure the club wants to involve Harry Kane for the rest of his career, in my opinion.

"When you have this type of player, a world-class striker like him, you want him to stay here for the rest of his life.

"But then, you know football. Sometimes it's unpredictable but it's not in my task to make a decision. This is the decision for the club and for Harry."

 

Conte was also pressed on his situation, with some disgruntlement having grown within the Tottenham support following meek Champions League and FA Cup exits to Milan and Sheffield United respectively.

"I think that we have to accept every type of situation," Conte said. "The most important thing to know is that you are working very hard every day at the club that you are working for.

"For the manager, it's important to do this and to know that you are giving not [just] 100 per cent, but much more to improve the club that believes in you."

Reflecting on his comments in the wake of Spurs' defeat to Milan, when he said Tottenham might sack him at the end of the season, Conte explained: "I don't think the club is thinking this. I think the club sees every day what me and my staff are doing at this club. It was only an answer about my future.

"I think there is not one club who can tell the manager you are staying here until the end of the season. The future is really strange and you don't know what will happen tomorrow.

"But I repeat, in my opinion, I will try in every moment to do everything. Me and my staff.

"The club appreciates this. If you continue to ask me if I'm going to sign a new contract, it shows the club is appreciating what we [have been] doing in the last year and a half."

Mohamed Salah is contracted with Liverpool until 2025 having penned an extension in July.

Salah's new deal is reportedly worth around £350,000 per week.

However, the 30-year-old has only managed 11 Premier League goals this term, with Liverpool's hopes of mounting a title charge long gone, and their place in next season's Champions League is far from secure.

There is now speculation that one of Europe's elite is looking to poach Salah ahead of next season.

 

TOP STORY – SALAH STRONGLY WEIGHING UP LIVERPOOL EXIT

Fichajes reports Mohamed Salah is strongly considering departing Liverpool, with Paris Saint-Germain circling.

The Egypt forward extended his Anfield stay last year but the situation has changed amid an underwhelming season.

Liverpool might be in need of a revamp next season, with Roberto Firmino already confirmed to be on his way out, following Sadio Mane's exit last year.

Jurgen Klopp will surely want to keep Salah, but if PSG offer huge money, it could provide the German with the cash needed to rebuild, with Borussia Dortmund's sought-after midfielder Jude Bellingham widely reported to be Liverpool's priority target.

ROUND-UP

–  Tottenham do not want to sell talisman Harry Kane even if he does not commit to a new deal, with his contract due to expire in 2024, according to Sky Sports. Kane has been linked with Manchester United and Bayern Munich, while he wanted to join Manchester City in 2021.

City, meanwhile, have agreed on a new five-and-a-half-year contract for Argentina forward Julian Alvarez amid interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, according to Fabrizio Romano.

City have also asked Napoli about Victor Osimhen's availability, reports Florian Plettenberg. The Nigerian forward has interest from PSG, Chelsea and Manchester United too.

– Football Insider claims Chelsea have made Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong their primary focus for the next transfer window.

Juventus may move for PSG pair Juan Bernat and Renato Sanches with Juan Cuadrado and Adrien Rabiot set to exit, reports Calciomercato.

– The Times reports former Spain head coach Luis Enrique would be interested in becoming Tottenham boss should Antonio Conte depart.

Real Madrid have reportedly identified Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham and Manchester City's Joao Cancelo as their three primary targets in a €300million plan.

The Spanish giants have been pursuing 19-year-old Bellingham for months, while 22-year-old Kvaratskhelia has emerged as one of world football's breakout prospects during his first Serie A season.

Cancelo's future with City is also up in the air after Pep Guardiola allowed him to be loaned to Bayern Munich, with the German club hesitant to make the move permanent.

They could be three of the biggest names to move in the upcoming transfer window, and Madrid are said to want to bring them all to LaLiga instead of resuming the chase for Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

TOP STORY – MADRID PLAN AMBITIOUS MOVE FOR WORLD-CLASS TRIO

According to Fichajes.net, Madrid will try to secure all three of their top targets for a combined fee in the range of €300m.

The report states they are comfortable with the asking price of Kvaratskhelia, which is said to be a minimum of €100m, while they expect Liverpool to rival them in a €150m chase for Bellingham.

Cancelo has a €70m (£61.5m) buy clause in his loan deal, which is said to be more palatable to Madrid than Bayern, as they view him as a long-term solution at right-back.

 

ROUND-UP

– Football Insider is reporting Manchester United remain keen on 26-year-old Inter defender Denzel Dumfries, and that the Italian club's financial situation could tempt them to accept a bid in the region of €50m (£44m).

– According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter and Milan are enamoured with 21-year-old Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun, who is among Ligue 1's top scorers this season during a loan stint with Reims.

Manchester United are concerned with the prospect of a drawn-out pursuit of Tottenham striker Harry Kane and will instead prioritise Napoli's Victor Osimhen or Juventus' Dusan Vlahovic, per ESPN.

– Journalist Ekrem Konur is reporting Atletico Madrid plan to offer Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino a two-year deal with an option for a third year.

– According to The Athletic, 31-year-old Neymar wants to finish his career at Paris Saint-Germain and has no interest in leaving.

Ruud Gullit advised Harry Kane to "be selfish" and leave Tottenham in pursuit of trophies amid reported interest from Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

The England captain took his tally of Premier League goals this season to 20 with a brace against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, the sixth campaign he has hit the figure – only Alan Shearer (seven) having done so on more occasions.

However, a poor start to the month has seen Spurs exit the Champions League at the hands of Milan and eliminated from the FA Cup by second-tier Sheffield United, ensuring the London side will endure another season without a trophy.

Kane has twice finished runner-up in the EFL Cup with Spurs (2014-15 and 2020-21), as well as suffering defeat in the 2018-19 Champions League final against Liverpool, while Spurs' last trophy was the EFL Cup in 2007-08.

Gullit said if he was in Kane's situation, he would seek an exit and believes silverware is the only thing that matters when your career comes to an end.

"If it was me, I would be selfish and I would say, 'look, I'm going,'" Gullit, who won majors honours as a player and manager, told BeIN Sports.

"The worst part is always that you have a lot of players who are always loyal, but they didn't win anything. What is there for you? You want to win trophies? Is that true or not?

"If you're not good enough, the club says, thank you very much, right? If the clubs themselves are not good enough, then I have to go and try to get trophies.

"I can just talk about myself. I started at a lower club and could not win anything. So I went to a club that was a little bit bigger. Thankful to play with Johan Cruyff. Johan Cruyff said to me, 'Ruud, if you make the decision to leave, there's going to be paraphernalia because the fans will not be happy because you are a good player.'

"But you have to think about yourself. So I did. I went to PSV Eindhoven, the fans didn't like it. I won two trophies, and then I went to Milan.

"PSV fans don't like it, but you want to win trophies. After your career is all about what you have on your CV."

Harry Kane scored a brace as Tottenham returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday.

The England captain struck twice in the first half to put the hosts in control at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, ultimately ending a three-match winless streak in all competitions.

Kane's well-taken header and routine penalty were added to in the second half, Son Heung-min ensuring there was no comeback from Forest despite Joe Worrall's consolation and a late saved spot-kick.

The result, coupled with Liverpool's surprise defeat to Bournemouth earlier on Saturday, moves Spurs six points clear in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

Spurs thought they had the lead inside five minutes as Richarlison latched onto Oliver Skipp's lofted throughball to lash a fierce effort beyond Keylor Navas, but it was disallowed for offside against the Brazilian.

That did not deter the hosts, though, Kane rising to head Pedro Porro's cross into the right corner of the net after 19 minutes.

Kane doubled his tally before the break with his first penalty since missing against France in the World Cup quarter-finals, converting after Forest captain Worrall fouled Richarlison.

Spurs' assault on the Forest goal continued in the second half, Son receiving a cross from Richarlison and drilling into the bottom-left corner.

Worrall was able to pull one back, heading Felipe's corner past Fraser Forster.

But that was as good as it got for Forest, with Andre Ayew seeing his late penalty saved by Forster down to his right after a Dejan Kulusevski handball.

 

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