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Talking Tactics

Kane heads for 200 PL goals with Arsenal in his sights

Adrian Clarke 12 Jan 2023

Adrian Clarke says Gunners must be aware of Spurs striker's aerial threat in north London derby

Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points and players who can be decisive in Matchweek 20.

Harry Kane (TOT)

Finding a way to contain Kane’s fast-improving aerial prowess will be high on Arsenal’s agenda in Sunday’s north London derby, as he aims to reach a bicentenary of Premier League goals. 

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The Tottenham Hotspur striker has seven headed goals already in 2022/23.

That is more than he has scored in any other full top-flight season since making his debut in 2012.

Kane has netted in seven of his eight home appearances against Arsenal and, with 14 goals, he is the fixture's most prolific goalscorer.

Kane's headed goals by season
Season/headed goals Season/headed goals
2022/23 7 2017/18 6
2021/22 4 2016/17 2
2020/21 4 2015/16 1
2019/20 4 2014/15 5
2018/19 2 2013/14 2

Spurs have been outstanding from dead-ball situations this term, scoring a league-high 10 goals.

Four of those have been converted via Kane's head from corner kicks, with three of those tucked away after the striker had dropped off towards the far post.

Kane's goal v Crystal Palace

Arsenal, who have conceded only one set-piece goal this season, must ensure the England captain is shackled closely at set-plays.

Antonio Conte’s 3-4-2-1 formation relies heavily on his wing-backs delivering quality crosses.

No side have attempted as many crosses from open play as Spurs (280) or supplied as many successful deliveries (70).

This style of play suits Kane’s strength in aerial duels.

Most successful open-play crossers (TOT)
Player Total
Ivan Perisic 22
Dejan Kulusevski 5
Emerson Royal 4
Matt Doherty 4
Ryan Sessegnon 4

The chief supplier is Ivan Perisic, who recently flighted a wonderful cross towards the back post for Kane to score in the 4-0 win at Crystal Palace.

Despite only featuring for 67 per cent of the total minutes this season, Perisic has picked out a team-mate with 22 accurate crosses in open play, 17 more than any other Spurs player.

Always willing to try his luck from the flanks, Perisic’s 65 attempted crosses are considerably more than right wing-back Emerson Royal’s 34.

Best providers for Kane headers 2022/23
Player Total
Ivan Perisic 9
Son Heung-min 4
Clement Lenglet 3
Dejan Kulusevski 2
Matt Doherty 1
Richarlison 1
Ryan Sessegnon 1

Unsurprisingly, it is Perisic who has created the most chances with nine for Kane headers this term.

Ben White and Bukayo Saka will have to work extremely hard down Arsenal’s right to close down Perisic’s space.

Most headed goals/shots 2022/23
Headed goals Headed shots
Harry Kane 7 Aleksandar Mitrovic 25
Aleksandar Mitrovic 4 Harry Kane 22
Erling Haaland 3 Erling Haaland 13
Kane goals in first 18 matches by season
Season First 18 apps Goals
2022/23 18 15
2021/22 18 5
2020/21 18 12
2019/20 18 10
2018/19 18 11
2017/18 18 15
2016/17 18 13
2015/16 18 11
2014/15 18 8

Erling Haaland’s incredible debut season at Manchester City has overshadowed a wonderful first half of the campaign from Kane.

Playing for a side who have struggled for creativity at times, his impressive 15-goal tally represents a 41 per cent share of Spurs’ overall total.

The 2017/18 season, when he scored 30 goals, is the only other time Kane has registered as many goals from his first 18 appearances, so his form is undeniably strong.

It will be no surprise therefore if Kane, who is on 198 Premier League goals, joins the 200 club.

Also in this series

Part 1: Willian can be Fulham's talisman against former club Chelsea
Part 2: Gnonto's direct approach can trouble Villa
Part 3: Rashford form gives United shot at derby success

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