April 6, 2018 / 11:47 AM / 5 months ago

Tottenham's Kane ready to return to starting line-up at Stoke

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has fully recovered from an ankle injury and is in line to return to the starting line-up for Saturday’s Premier League clash at Stoke City, manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Friday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - April 1, 2018 Tottenham's Harry Kane applauds fans after the match REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Kane came on as a late substitute in Tottenham’s historic league victory over champions Chelsea last weekend and showed no effects of the injury that he picked up on March 11.

“He is okay after playing nearly 20 minutes against Chelsea. This week was good, he is working hard,” Pochettino told a news conference.

Kane is Tottenham’s top scorer this season with 24 league goals and is looking to win the Golden Boot for a third straight season. He is behind Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah who has 29 goals.

“Of course, the expectation for him (Kane) is to score goals. He is hungry to score,” Pochettino added.

Tottenham are fourth in the league with 64 points and looking to secure a top-four finish to ensure Champions League soccer in their new stadium next season. The Argentine was also hopeful of his side being able to repeat their second-place finish of last season.

“We want to finish as high as possible, we are in a good position but there are still a lot of games to play... if we can finish second, it would be better than third or fourth,” he said.

Pochettino was wary, however, of the trip to 19th-placed Stoke and expected it to be a more challenging encounter than last weekend’s game at Stamford Bridge, where Tottenham snapped a 28-year winless run with a 3-1 victory.

“Our focus must be 200 percent. For me it will be a tougher game than at Stamford Bridge, against Stoke,” the manager said.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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