When Harry Kane hobbled off in Tottenham Hotspur’s 6-0 Emirates FA Cup quarter-final victory over Millwall, fans must have feared the worst.
Who would step up their game in his absence? How would the team maintain their position in the Premier League? And quite simply – where were their goals going to come from?
Well, it’s been a case of so far, so good for the north London outfit without their star striker.
Defeat for Chelsea this weekend coupled with back-to-back wins for Mauricio Pochettino’s men leaves them just seven points off top-spot.
With nine games still to play this season, there’s every chance Spurs can further close that gap over the coming weeks – especially when you consider Chelsea will face both Manchester City and Manchester United in their next four games.
While last season they were expected to leapfrog Leicester City at the top of the table, they’re playing without that kind of pressure on their shoulders this time out – and that’ll favour them massively as we approach the latter stages of the campaign.
Burden has been shared
Kane’s injury came at a time when he was neck-and-neck with Romelu Lukaku at the top of the goalscoring charts on 19 strikes.
And aside from Kane, only three players have managed to net more than six goals for Spurs this season (a figure which you’d expect to be higher for title hopefuls).
So without the 24-year-old, you’d have to say supporters were right to fear the worst. When he was ruled out, just a point separated Spurs in second and Liverpool in fourth. That gap now stands at three points, with Poch’s men boasting a game in hand over the Reds.
And that’s because the whole squad have upped their game in Kane’s absence.
All eyes would’ve been on Dele Alli, but it’s worth noting that Tottenham’s last four goals have been scored by different players – including a first of the season for Eric Dier.
If they maintain this form over the coming weeks while Kane continues to return to fitness, he could well be coming back to a side just a couple of points away from Chelsea.
It’s thought he’ll be back for the north London derby at White Hart Lane against Arsenal on April 30. Between now and then, Spurs’ five league fixtures will come against sides currently in the bottom half of the table – giving them a great opportunity to close that gap on the league leaders.
And were they to do that, Kane’s return would seriously boost their chances of pipping the Blues to the post.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing