Harry Kane's Ultimate Rivals XI as London foes dominate all-Premier League lineup

ULTIMATE RIVALS SERIES: The recent Golden Boot winner has faced off against some of the world's finest in his career, but who has he bat...

ULTIMATE RIVALS SERIES: The recent Golden Boot winner has faced off against some of the world's finest in his career, but who has he battled with the most to make up a frequent rival XI?


As one of the most feared strikers on the planet, not many players will enjoy coming up against Harry Kane.

However, during his 10-year playing career, a number of Premier League opponents have had to act as his adversary while the Tottenham Hotspur hitman chases Alan Shearer's goalscoring record.

Coming off the back of a Golden Boot win with 23 top-flight strikes - a tally which he's bettered three times in his years at the top - speculation surrounding his future is dominating the back pages.

Kane also managed the most league assists in 2020-21 with 14 and reaffirmed his place among the domestic global elite.

This summer will be a chance to play away from his club as he embarks on a journey with England at the European Championships.

With a watershed moment potentially approaching, let's look back at the players Kane has faced the most throughout his time with Tottenham and his four loan spells.

At 27, the Spurs striker has unfinished business with many, especially when it comes to silverware, as you'll see here.

Here's an XI made up of Kane's most frequent opponents.

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

Appearances against Kane: 15

It took Kane six appearances against Man United to beat De Gea
It took Kane six appearances against Man United to beat De Gea 

Having managed to beat almost every goalkeeper he's faced in the Premier League, the England captain's four goals in 15 clashes with Manchester United is largely down to one man: De Gea.

The pair have even met on the international stage, with Kane drawing a blank at Wembley in September 2018.

That came four months before their most memorable meeting at the same venue (a common location in Kane's career), as De Gea denied him and co 11 times in a league bout.

Old Trafford is where the Lilywhites no. 10 has scored three of his four goals against the Spaniard, who narrowly edges Leicester City stopper and Kane's former Foxes teammate Kasper Schmeichel on minutes played.

Right-back: Cesar Azpilicueta

Appearances against Kane: 16

Kane and Azpilicueta's rivalry dates back to the 2014-15 season
Kane and Azpilicueta's rivalry dates back to the 2014-15 season 

Ranking joint-first for most appearances against Tottenham's talisman, the ever-reliable Azpilicueta slots in a right-back, although has faced Kane in multiple positions across seven seasons.

The now Chelsea captain was deployed at left-back in the infamous 'Battle of the Bridge' in which Kane scored before Spurs squandered a two-goal lead to hand Leicester the title in May 2016.

Having spent 1,204 minutes on the pitch together, it's still likely that these two will be competing against each other for years to come - unless they're on the same team.

Centre-back: Cheikhou Kouyate

Appearances against Kane: 14

Kouyate is one of Kane's favourite frequent opponents
Kouyate is one of Kane's favourite frequent opponents 

For whatever reason (maybe they're afraid), by-trade centre-backs are way down the list for when it comes to facing Kane.

Having been with both West Ham United and current club Crystal Palace, Kouyate has dueled with the deadly forward on 14 occasions.

Kane has come out on top eight times, including a 4-1 home romp in March in which he scored twice and set up the other two goals.

Unlike many at Selhurst Park, the Senegalese defender is not out of contract until next year, so will be hoping to make that record a bit more equal next term.

Centre-back: Aaron Cresswell

Appearances against Kane: 15

Cresswell is another of Kane's long-time foes
Cresswell is another of Kane's long-time foes 

Although a host of actual centre-backs have dared to face Kane 11 times - such as Burnley's Ben Mee and Everton's Michael Keane - Cresswell's recent central conversion and the sheer amount of minutes he's played (the most of any outfielder in this XI) earns him a spot.

Most recently meeting when the Irons man helped his side move into the top four in February, Cresswell has been on the winning side just five times.

Kane has faced West Ham more than any other opposition in his career, scoring 11 goals in 17 games.

The duo were international teammates in 2017, as the 31-year-old Liverpudlian made his first England start in Lithuania, where the Three Lions skipper scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot.

Left-back: Marcos Alonso

Appearances against Kane: 15

Alonso netted a stunning free-kick for then champions Chelsea against Kane's side at the beginning of the 2017-18 season
Alonso netted a stunning free-kick for then champions Chelsea against Kane's side at the beginning of the 2017-18 season 

Staying in London and returning to Stamford Bridge, another adversary of Kane's is selected in his natural position.

Part of the Chelsea team who beat the Lilywhites 4-2 at Wembley in a 2017 FA Cup semi-final, Alonso also lashed in a brace in a 2-1 win over Tottenham four months later.

Narrowly coming out on top with seven victories, the wing-back is far from a favourite opponent of the Spurs striker.

Centre-midfield: Mark Noble

Appearances against Kane: 15

Although Manchester United's Nemanja Matic has played slightly more minutes than Noble against Kane, no midfielder ranks higher in terms of appearances than the West Ham legend.

Scrapping it out 15 tumultuous times, the pair share six wins each, dating back to September 2012 when the English striking sensation was honing his craft on loan with Norwich City.

Kane actually missed a gilt-edged chance to score a late winner in the eventual goalless draw, scuffing a shot at Jussi Jaaskelainen.

He then started the reverse fixture on New Year's Day 2013 in which Noble netted an early penalty to help give his Irons side three points.

Midfield: N'Golo Kante

Appearances against Kane: 14

Kante's two Premier League titles came at Spurs' agonising expense
Kante's two Premier League titles came at Spurs' agonising expense 

Here's a man hard to hate - even from a Lilywhites perspective.

The World Cup and Champions League winner has a medal collection Kane can only envy at present, and Kante has got the better of him in 50% of their meetings.

One of those was the aforementioned FA Cup semi-final, but at least rivals Arsenal avenged Tottenham in the final.

Centre-midfield: Grant Xhaka

Appearances against Kane: 14

Outsting Matic by just one minute and completing our workmanlike midfield, the polarising Gunners general is a rvial whom Kane has a comprehensive winning record against.

The top PL playmaker last time out has eight victories against the Switzerland international, although lost the last North London Derby 2-1, in which the pair each played 90 minutes.

Right-wing: Willian

Appearances against Kane: 16

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea reportedly hijacked Willian's move to Tottenham in 2013
Jose Mourinho's Chelsea reportedly hijacked Willian's move to Tottenham in 2013 

Level with Azpilicueta for most appearances, the much-maligned Arsenal man at least has a positive record against one of the world's best frontmen, including a 2015 League Cup final win.

Part of Kane's constant thorn in the shape of Chelsea from 2013 onwards - when Willian almost become a Tottenham teammate before ditching Spurs for the Blues - the Brazilian isn't someone the Englishman enjoys seeing across the halfway line come kick-off.

Centre-forward: Olivier Giroud

Appearances against Kane: 14

On to another man who's played for both of the Lilywhites' main rivals now, but thanks to his past Emirates links, boasts just three victories from his meetings with Kane.

Although his 501 minutes shared on the pitch is significantly less than the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Jamie Vardy, Giroud's appearances see him lead the line in this XI.

If England were to win Group D this summer, they could face France if they finish runners-up in the group of death, so Kane and Giroud could meet on the international stage for the third time.

Left-wing: Wilfried Zaha

Appearances against Kane: 14

Kane and Zaha both reportedly want out of their respective clubs this summer
Kane and Zaha both reportedly want out of their respective clubs this summer 

Ending in South London, Kane shares his best points-per-game average (two) with Palace pair Zaha and Kouyate in this XI.

Alike in many ways, the Ivory Coast international and England marksman are both constantly linked with summer moves away, believing they can go on to do bigger and better things elsewhere.

Wherever they end up, it'd be interesting to see them on the same side.

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GistLobby⚽: Harry Kane's Ultimate Rivals XI as London foes dominate all-Premier League lineup
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