17 Apr Kane mind games
Harry Kane believes Tottenham can land another psychological blow in the title race by beating Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday.
Spurs head into the clash at Wembley buoyed after a weekend in which they hammered Bournemouth 4-0 before Chelsea were beaten 2-0 by Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
Chelsea sat 10 points clear at the top of the table just over a fortnight ago, but two defeats, the first against Crystal Palace, in four matches have thrust Tottenham back into contention.
Both sides will now turn their attention to next weekend’s FA Cup showdown in which Kane says Spurs can not only book their place in the final, but also sow further seeds of doubt in the Chelsea squad.
“It could be a big thing psychologically,” Kane said.
“Of course it’s a different competition so it’s hard to say, but it’s a big game for us, a big game for the club, a massive semi-final and you never know.
“If we win next week it might put a bit more doubt in their minds regarding the Premier League. But we can’t control what Chelsea do.”
Tottenham are certainly the form team going into the clash, having won eight matches in a row in all competitions and scored an average of three goals a game in that period.
They already have 71 points, one more than last year’s final total, with six matches still left to play and are one short of their Premier League record tally of 72 points, set under Andre Villas-Boas in 2013.
“I think sometimes people say we’re still second and Chelsea are still seven points clear – or four now – so they don’t think we are doing as well as last season,” Kane said.
“But if you look at the table, 71 points with six games left is incredible. We’ve got to make sure we finish strongly – it isn’t over yet.”
Tottenham will also take heart from their dismantling of Antonio Conte’s side in January when they ended Chelsea’s 13-match unbeaten run with an impressive 2-0 victory.
Chelsea came from behind to beat Spurs 2-1 in the reverse fixture in November, but Jan Vertonghen says Spurs have nothing to fear.
“We have nothing to be afraid of,” Vertonghen said.
“The way we’re playing now, with so much confidence home and away, we feel especially strong at the Lane, it’s probably the best form we’ve been in in a couple of years.
“Chelsea is one of the best teams in the league this year, they play great and Eden (Hazard) is obviously a very special player, but we’ve played him and Chelsea this season and we won.”
Bournemouth became the sixth of Tottenham’s last eight opponents to concede three goals or more on Saturday as Mousa Dembele, Son Heung-min, Kane and Vincent Janssen sealed an emphatic victory.
Eddie Howe’s men were beaten 3-1 by Chelsea only the weekend before, but Bournemouth defender Steve Cook insisted Spurs were the toughest team they had faced this term.
“It was the most difficult game we’ve had all season. It’s hard to take but they were very good,” Cook said.
“They were everything. They covered every inch of grass, didn’t let us have a pass. They limited us to very soft chances and were always a threat going forward.
“It’s disappointing because we’ve been on a good run. We have to move on as quickly as possible.”