Antonio Conte and Mauricio Pochettino both had their press conferences today ahead of Sunday’s clash between Chelsea and Spurs at Stamford Bridge. They discussed a few things, like the history of this game, how important it is to win, and they gave team news ahead of the game.
There was a bit of a surprise when Mauricio Pochettino said Harry Kane could possibly be fit, but it all depends how the next couple of days go.
“We need to assess him,” Pochettino told the media (transcribed by Sky Sports).
“He is very positive and he is doing very well. Every day he is improving. We need to assess him, it is still a few days until the game. I think it is difficult now to say yes or no, to be involved or not in the game. I cannot say no but I cannot say yes.
“If not this weekend, maybe next weekend but the most important is we are so positive about his recovery.”
Having Kane back fit would be a huge boost for Spurs, as they go to Stamford Bridge looking for their first win in 28 years. Speaking about the ‘hoodoo’, he said: “I think it is not a point of focus for us – we are focused on performance and the possibility to be better than them and have the capacity to win the game.
“Of course the history is the history. It is there but it is not going to help, first of all Chelsea and then us.”
Antonio Conte was asked if this is a must-win game, and the Italian said: “For sure this is an important game for us. Our target is to try and take a place in the Champions League and reach the final of the FA Cup and to win if we are able.
“These are our targets. Sunday is an important game because if we win we go very close – otherwise we continue to stay not so close and with seven games to go it will be difficult to take a place in the Champions League.”
Thibaut Courtois and Andreas Christensen were sent home early from international duty with Belgium and Denmark respectively, with reports that Courtois won’t be fit to play and that Wily Caballero will take his place in goal. Conte said: “We have to check very well these situations. We’ll see which is the real physical condition, if they’re able to play against Tottenham. In this moment I can’t tell you accurately.”
So, we’ll wait and see whether Kane, Courtois and Christensen will make the squads. It would be extremely interesting if Kane returned, because he’s supposed to be out for another couple of weeks.
Chelsea host Spurs at 4pm on Sunday in a hugely important game for both clubs. Spurs currently have a five point cushion over their London rivals, but defeat on Sunday will see an exciting end to the season. If Spurs were to win it and go eight points clear, they would be almost guaranteed to finish in the top four.