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Juventus v Tottenham: Harry Kane must slay ‘King Kong’ Giorgio Chiellini to realise Champions League dream

Written by The Sun Co.Uk

HARRY KANE must slay King Kong if his vision of lifting the Champions League trophy is to become a reality. Kane will lead the line for Tottenham against Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 showdown. Standing in his way will be Juve’s veteran, hairy back-sided centre-half Giorgio Chiellini, whose chest-beating goal-scoring […]

HARRY KANE must slay King Kong if his vision of lifting the Champions League trophy is to become a reality.

Kane will lead the line for Tottenham against Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 showdown.

Harry Kane reckons Giorgio Chiellini is the toughest opponent he has played against
Times Newspapers Ltd

Standing in his way will be Juve’s veteran, hairy back-sided centre-half Giorgio Chiellini, whose chest-beating goal-scoring celebration led to him being nicknamed ‘King Kong’.

He is a player Kane knows well having made his full England debut against the Italian in the same stadium back in 2015 — when Chiellini went through him in the opening minutes.

Kane said: “Yeah, I remember it! Obviously, I was a young player coming through, doing really well.

“He was obviously a great defender, very experienced.

Kane remembers a hefty hit he took from Chiellini on his international debut
Kane remembers a hefty hit he took from Chiellini on his international debut
Times Newspapers Ltd
Kane now knows he must get the better of the Italian defender nicknamed 'King Kong'
Kane now knows he must get the better of the Italian defender nicknamed ‘King Kong’
AFP

“It was my first touch and he wiped me out, gave me a dead leg for about five minutes. It was kind of a welcome to international football.

“But he’s obviously a great defender and I’m looking forward to going up against him again.”

Chiellini, 33, clearly left a lasting impression on Kane, who rates tonight’s opponent as the toughest he has faced.

The striker said: “I’ve been asked this question a few times and I’ve said Chiellini, to be fair.

“I have faced him a couple of times. He is very experienced. He uses his body well and his positioning well. When you try to make runs, he knows when to step across you.

Kane knows Chiellini will use every trick in the book to ensure the game goes Juventus' game
Kane knows Chiellini will use every trick in the book to ensure the game goes Juventus’ game
Times Newspapers Ltd

“He knows when to give you a little nudge to put you off balance. He knows when to come tight and get up your backside and also when to drop off, as well.

“It’s the experienced defenders that are the most difficult because they know where to be at the right times and you have to find a way to get around that. John Terry was the same.”

Defensive masters Juventus have kept an astonishing 15 clean sheets and conceded just ONCE in their last 16 matches — winning their last 11.

Kane, who missed a couple of chances despite scoring the winner in Saturday’s North London derby with Arsenal, knows he will have to be white-hot in front of goal tonight. He said: “Yeah, I think so.

“Especially in the Champions League against the big teams, you have to be clinical and we were in the group stage this season.

“We know we’re going to have to do the same here. They are on a great run of form.

“They have some great defenders and goalkeeper, and they’ve kept a lot of clean sheets, especially in recent games.

“We’re aware of that but we have to go in with the same game-plan as against anyone. We have played very well in the Premier League recently against some top teams, so we have to go there with the same mind-set, the same energy and try to do the same.”

Talking of mind-sets, Kane is the latest to use visualisation techniques as part of his pre-match build-up.

He said: “I do like to visualise a lot. It’s just about being positive.

“It’s a big stage. It’s where I want to be playing. There will be millions of people watching.


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“I’m on good form personally and we’re in good form as a team.

“I will visualise myself scoring and hopefully it will come true.

“Have I visualised myself lifting the Champions League trophy? Yeah, of course. Which footballer hasn’t? But we’ve still got a long way to go and have two very tough games coming up.

“We’ve just got to believe and take each game as it comes and see what happens.”

Kane, 24, reckons there is a “fearlessness” about on-song Tottenham at the moment.

He added: “Yeah, you could say that. I think the recent form we’ve had, it just breeds confidence.

Kane and Chiellini showed respect towards each other after their tussles
Kane and Chiellini tussle during their friendly in March 2015
Times Newspapers Ltd

“When you beat teams like Manchester United, then have a good performance against Liverpool away and then beat Arsenal in the way we did — we are just looking forward to the next game and it’s probably a good thing it’s coming so quick.

“When you are in good form, you just want the next game to come along as soon as possible.

“When we are playing at our best, we can beat anyone.

“The group stage of the Champions League showed that and now these recent league games have shown that, as well.


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“That gives us a lot of confidence.

“This tie is over two legs and we have to do a job in Turin.

“We have to be sensible, and experienced, as well.

“We’re going to try to get those away goals, take them back to Wembley and finish the job there.”

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