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Harry Kane a doubt to face Rochdale, Moura set for full debut - Pochettino

With Real Madrid and PSG circling, Paul Mariner and Mark Donaldson explain how important it is for Tottenham to tie Mauricio Pochettino down to a long-term deal.
Alejandro Moreno discusses Toby Alderweireld's growth at Tottenham and where he fits among the top centre-backs in world football.

LONDON -- Harry Kane is a doubt for Tottenham Hotspur's FA Cup fifth-round tie at Rochdale on Sunday but Lucas Moura is expected to make his full debut.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said Kane would be assessed after twisting his ankle in Tuesday's Champions League draw at Juventus.

Pochettino indicated that Fernando Llorente could deputise and said Moura, a late substitute at Juve, was in line for his first start.

"He twisted his ankle, he received some knocks," Pochettino said of Kane. "We need to assess [on Saturday] if he's fit. Maybe he has the possibility to start.

"If he's not 100 percent and there's not the possibility to play 90 minutes, then maybe he'll be on the bench. Or if we see that he's not capable of half an hour or 20 minutes, then he'll stay here."

On Moura, a £24.5 million January signing from Paris Saint-Germain, Pochettino added: "We're thinking of giving him the possibility to start. It's in our head.

"He's working very hard, we're pushing him. We need to assess him and see how we can do. But we are so happy with him and the way that he is working."

Llorente has been missing from the squad since the fourth-round replay win over Newport County, having scored just twice in 25 appearances.

Pochettino said: "Of course it's one of the possibilities to start with Fernando and if he's going to play, it's another possibility to show his quality and of course have more luck than in his last game."

The Spurs boss apologised to Rochdale chairman Chris Dunphy for comments he had made about the League One club's pitch ahead of the game.

Last week, he described the Crown Oil Arena pitch as a "massive risk" and "in no condition to play football."

Harry Kane, left, and Mauricio Pochettino are preparing for Tottenham's clash with Juventus.
Mauricio Pochettino could be without Harry Kane at Rochdale.

Dunphy told ESPN FC those comments were "ill-advised and unhelpful" and made from "complete ignorance."

Rochdale re-laid their pitch after last Saturday's league match against Fleetwood was called off, and Pochettino said: "I want to apologise if the chairman took my comments in the wrong way.

"My comment was about the players of Rochdale, our players and the competition. It's a game that all of England will be watching on TV.

"After the [fourth-round] replay, I was with my coaching staff and [Newport boss] Michael Flynn and all the Newport coaching staff.

"They showed me a picture of the pitch from after the Millwall replay and it wasn't in a great condition and of course I was conscious of the FA Cup, the football and the image we're going to send. But I was careful of their players too, not only my players."

He congratulated Rochdale on the work that had been done since, saying: "The effort was massive to put the pitch in the best condition to play without risk.

"I think now everyone wins -- Rochdale wins, the FA wins, Tottenham wins. I congratulate them."

Asked whether there had ever been a possibility of moving the game to Wembley, he said: "No, no. We never talked [about that] because after this day we received the notification that they were able to re-lay the pitch."

Meanwhile, after former Spurs striker Clive Allen said 33-goal Kane could beat his club-record 49 goals in a season, set in 1986-87, Pochettino said: "Harry Kane is capable of everything. I hope he can break that record too.

"He's the one player who is capable of everything because of his mentality, his determination and his talent."

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.

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