Antonio Conte has alleviated any fears that Harry Kane may miss the last game of the season for top-four hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur.
Reports on Friday about Kane may have made Tottenham worry. The striker has cancelled a media event in the afternoon due to feeling unwell. It prompted rumours of a food poisoning outbreak at the club.
That would be the last thing they need approaching the final matchday, just as everything seemed to be going in their favour.
Indeed, Tottenham just need to win against relegated Norwich City to confirm their place in next season’s Champions League. A draw will also be enough, unless Arsenal win with a goal swing of record proportion.
Going into the decisive finale without Kane may have been worrying. However, head coach Conte has confirmed he is expecting the England captain to be available.
At a press conference, he said: “Yes for sure, and because in the last game we had Deki Kulusevski and he didn’t train on Saturday but was good to play. Harry doesn’t want to miss this type of game.”
Indeed, Conte denied the rumours of a food poisoning outbreak. It means his squad should be the same as the one that beat Burnley last weekend.
Conte explained: “If you remember the last game, we had three or four cases of stomach problems. In this week I have to be honest we had a couple of cases but we overcame the situation.
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“Also members of the staff, one day they were not feeling so good. I don’t know why, the last week but also this week we faced this situation.
“In this moment though this virus is the last of our problem. We are close to a big achievement and we are totally focused. The situation of the players is the same as the last game.”
Conte won’t be told about lasagne-gate
With food poisoning fears behind them, comparisons with the lasagne-gate incident of 2006 can be dismissed.
Back then, Tottenham’s hopes of beating Arsenal to a top-four finish were derailed by a food poisoning outbreak. But Conte wanted to draw a line under any such issues for the past and present.
He replied, laughing: “I don’t want to know this story. I’m not interested to go deeper into this story.
“I think that we are in a good moment of form. We have worked well this week and prepared very well. We have to be concentrated.
“There is the whole season behind this game and we can reach something amazing for us because I think no one can imagine top four this season. We have worked hard and now everything is in our hands.”
Tottenham’s final placing will be determined on Sunday. They are hoping for a first top-four finish since the 2018-19 season.