By Noel Whelan

30th May, 2019 | 11:06am

'Football is cruel' - Whelan tips Pochettino to axe Spurs hero v Liverpool after development


Noel Whelan has tipped Mauricio Pochettino to axe semi-final hero Lucas Moura from the Tottenham team for the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds United striker believes Harry Kane will go straight back into the starting XI after winning his fitness battle following two months on the sidelines.

Kane declared himself this week “ready to go” for Saturday’s showdown in Madrid and Pochettino also said at a media conference on Monday he is “so positive” about the progress of the Spurs talisman.

The manager is set to perm four out of attacking quintet Kane, Son Heung-Min, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and semi-final hat-trick hero Lucas Moura for the biggest match in the club’s history.

“Kane will definitely start if he’s fit, Pochettino has to go with his main man,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Who does he then drop? You have to keep Eriksen in because he has the vision and ability to find players, that extra bit of creativity you need.

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“You have to have Dele Alli as well, because of his movement, touch and ability to find space and score important goals. He would be better starting than coming off the bench. He’s good off the ball as well, and tenacious.

“Then it comes down to Son and Moura. Son is a bit more dangerous and has been winning games for a lot longer. So, you then have Moura on the bench. It would be cruel after what he did in the semi-final but football is cruel.

“He can then make a big impact as a substitute with his pace. He can make a bigger impact off the bench than someone like Alli.”

Moura has had a fine season for Spurs, scoring 15 goals from 48 matches, including that remarkable second-half hat-trick to defeat Ajax in the semi-final.

In other Spurs news, a pundit has hailed the imminent signing of a Tottenham player for multi-millions by a northern club as a “massive coup”.