Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed that Harry Kane has suffered a torn hamstring, ruling him out of their meeting with Liverpool.
Kane tore his hamstring as he had a goal ruled out for offside against Southampton. It was immediately clear that he had hurt himself and the player went off. The extent, however, was less clear.
But the tear, which Spurs confirmed last Friday, would almost certainly rule Kane out of the Liverpool game on the 11th.
It’s something that will change how Liverpool approach the game.
The impact on the Reds
Kane is undeniably the best striker at Spurs. He’s also got a good record against Liverpool, scoring six and assisting two in his last ten games.
But his absence might make things a little more complicated. Jose Mourinho now can’t play the same way, as he’s admitted, and is far more likely to build his attack around either Lucas Moura or Son Heung-Min – players more lethal than Kane on the counter-attack.
And, at the end of the day, that’s the only real way anyone expects Spurs to hurt Liverpool. Kane’s injury simply allows them to focus on it a little more, with players with far more pace.
So how do Liverpool counter that?
It means we’ll probably see less aggression from Liverpool’s full-backs and a deeper backline. The latter is particularly notable as it would potentially draw Spurs out in a game where they probably need to win. The race for fourth is a tough one and these are points at home – they need as many of those as they can get.
And drawing them out certainly benefits Liverpool. Very few teams do push out against them as they’re frightened of the pace on the counter. But if Spurs are forced into pushing out and chasing a win against a deeper Liverpool, it could really benefit the Reds.
The alternative, of course, is that they play for the draw against a cautious Liverpool. It would be very ‘Mourinho’ but can they afford to only pick up a point?
It’s all a little unknown right now but what is for certain is that this will be a different Spurs. The lack of Kane is clearly a benefit to Liverpool with Spurs missing their best player but tactically it could make all the difference, too.