The key battle Pochettino needs £200,000-a-week Tottenham man to win vs Crystal Palace – opinion

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has made a decent enough start to the Premier League season with three goals in four appearances, although he suffered a disappointing afternoon in his side’s previous home match when he failed to score in the 1-0 defeat against Newcastle United.

The England international will be looking to get back on the score-sheet again for the visit of Crystal Palace on Saturday, following a mixed performance against Kosovo on Tuesday where he scored once but missed a penalty kick, too.

Spurs lie ninth in the top flight standings with only one win from their opening four fixtures, and that record needs to improve significantly if they are going to be anywhere near being title challengers over the remainder of 2019/20.

Even at this early stage, a win against Roy Hodgson’s men looks to be important, but Kane will need to get the better of an experienced centre-back who is in fine form himself.

Gary Cahill signed for Palace on a free transfer during the summer transfer window, but he had to wait until the third Premier League game of the campaign to be handed his debut – a 2-1 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Harry Kane vs Gary Cahill PL 2019 20 - The key battle Pochettino needs £200,000-a-week Tottenham man to win vs Crystal Palace - opinion

It was an impressive instant impact from the man who was captain of Chelsea as recently as last term, and he followed it up with a clean sheet in the 1-0 win against Aston Villa at Selhurst Park before the international break.

The former England international has already shown his strength in the air by winning an average of 2.5 aerial duels per game, as per WhoScored, while he has made 1.5 blocks and a whopping seven clearances per outing as well.

His stats in the air compared to Kane’s – the centre-forward has only won an average of 0.8 per match so far this term – suggests he is going to have to do the majority of his work on the ground if he is to get the better of his former Three Lions teammate.

Cahill will be looking to take advantage of the fact the £200,000-a-week Spurs talisman has been dispossessed an average of two times, suggesting the ball is there to be won when he is in possession.

It will certainly be an interesting battle at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and manager Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping Kane can down his opponent to deliver a crucial three points.

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