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Tottenham v Qarabag: Kane hunting first goal

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping star striker Harry Kane can finally end his goal drought when Tottenham host Qarabag in the Europa League on Thursday.

Despite netting against San Marino and Switzerland in England’s Euro 2016 qualifiers earlier this month, Kane has yet to convert in five appearances for his club this campaign.

Such form is a far cry from last season, when the youngster catapulted himself into the elite class of Premier League strikers with 31 goals across all competitions for Tottenham.

Pochettino is unperturbed by such a poor return this term, however, and backed Kane to rediscover the Midas touch in front of goal soon.

He said: “I am happy with him and he gives the best for the team. He only needs time to score again. The moment will arrive. He has the skills.

“After two months last season he started scoring. He is very confident and very happy in the changing room.

“Our mentality like a team is first…. the result, the collective situation is our target. Now the mentality is a collective one. The team. Everyone has targets individually but first it is for the team.”

Pochettino’s men will head into their Group J opener with added confidence having finally picked up their first win of the season, overcoming Sunderland 1-0 in a tight encounter at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

Azerbaijan Premier League champions Qarabag have endured mixed results on their previous two trips to the British Isles, with a 2-1 win over Portadown in 2010-11 followed by a 1-0 loss at Celtic in this year’s Champions League third qualifying round.

And they will make the trip of almost 4,000 kilometres from Baku to London knowing the scale of the task that awaits against a Tottenham outfit who have lost just of of their last 17 European home games.

Mousa Dembele (ankle), Christian Eriksen (knee) and Clinton N’Jie (match fitness) could all return to the fold for the hosts after missing out against Sunderland.

However, Ryan Mason – who netted the winner in that game before being withdrawn on a stretcher – is likely to miss out with a knee problem.

Tue 15 Sep, 2015
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