No FA Cup rest for Harry Kane as Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison target Tottenham return vs Arsenal

No FA Cup rest for Harry Kane as Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison target Tottenham return vs Arsenal

Harry Kane and Heung-min Son will not be rested for Tottenham's FA Cup third-round tie against Portsmouth on Saturday, Spurs' assistant coach Cristian Stellini has said.

Kane has started every game this season while Son has only been rested once when fit.

But with Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison both set to remain on the sidelines this weekend, Stellini says Spurs have no choice but to stick with the front three who started the 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on Wednesday, also including Bryan Gil.

Asked about Kane's chances of a rest, Stellini said: "It could be an opportunity to give him a rest but we don't have many players and the choice is compulsory. So we have to choose the players we have in the front line.

"We have three strikers at the moment and we'll use them. It's an important match in an important cup and if you want to respect it you use the players in their positions. At the moment we have those three."

Rodrigo Bentancur, along with Kulusevski and Richarlison, is another not expected to be fit for the visit of Pompey, but Stellini suggested they could be back for the north London derby against Arsenal on Saturday week.

Gil was involved in three of Spurs' four goals at Selhurst Park, earning praise from Conte who said he was "born to play football" and suggested he was no longer a candidate to be sent on loan this month.

Asked if Gil is likely to stay at the club, Stellini said: "I think so, yeah. He could and he's playing very well. We're so happy because he's another player we worked a lot with. He has a great, great, great improvement because he trains every day 110 percent.

Bryan Gil had a part in three to Tottenham’s four goals against Crystal Palace. (Getty Images)
Bryan Gil had a part in three to Tottenham’s four goals against Crystal Palace. (Getty Images)

"He puts in all his energy every day and this is why he deserved to play a good match to be important in that match, with an assist, and the last pass before an assist. It was a great match for him."

Pape Matar Sarr will also be hoping for more minutes after coming off the bench in the last two League games and Stellini suggested the 19-year-old has a high ceiling.

"He can do everything because he's a great player with many possibilities," Stellini said of the Senegal international. "He's a midfielder who can play in many positions. He's a talented player.

"You have to wait with young players. If you use young players at the wrong time, you can make a mistake. But with Pape, Antonio decided at this moment that Pape is ready and he improved a lot in training.

"We worked a lot on body position and many skills he has to improve. He showed a desire to improve and this is very important for us. If you work with a player and they show this desire it's easier. With Pape it is easy.

"He has to continue to work because we have a hierarchy, so he has to respect this and we have to respect the players. He has the possibility now and he has to show his desire and his quality."

Stellini spent most of his playing career at lower league clubs in Italy and says he knows how motivated Pompey will be for the visit to north London.

"The FA Cup is a dream for us, for me," he said. "When I was a player I was not every time in the top league. So my dream was to see the FA Cup because it gave the possibility for a low team to challenge and to win a trophy, a top trophy. In Italy we don't have a chance to do it and I didn't when I was a player so it's a dream to me to learn from this type of situation in England.

"When I was a player sometimes I had this possibility and I know the desire of this type of team, Portsmouth tomorrow and Morecambe last season, how important it is for them to play this type of match. So we have to respect this and show our desire. For that reason the FA Cup is an important trophy to try to win. We spoke about this a lot of times and every time we have to show our respect in the game."