Harry Kane’s 32 goals in all competitions for Tottenham Hotspur this season have lifted him to the top of Europe’s scoring charts, but his claim to being the most lethal striker on the continent is set to face its sternest test yet today.
The 24-year-old England forward is expected to lead the line for his side when they travel to Turin for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against a Juventus team boasting one of the most stubborn defences of recent years.
The Bianconeri have won six successive Serie A titles and reached the Champions League final in two of the past three seasons.
Although they lost centre half Leonardo Bonucci to AC Milan last July, scoring against them is as difficult as ever with one goal conceded in their last 16 matches in all competitions.
Domestically, they have been breached 15 times in 24 Serie A games this season, a record bettered in Europe’s top five leagues only by La Liga’s Barcelona, with 11, and Atletico Madrid, with nine.
Veteran Italians Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli continue to be stalwarts in Juventus’ back line and are complemented by Morocco international Mehdi Benatia, Brazil’s Alex Sandro and Switzerland’s Stephan Lichtsteiner.
However, there are reasons for Kane to be encouraged ahead of the tie. Barzagli could miss the match with a calf injury and Juventus will be without Blaise Matuidi, the central midfielder who provides vital cover in front of the defence.