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Courtois confident of stopping Harry Kane this time around

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Even if it the match goes to a penalty kick shootout, something that the young goalkeeper has never experienced.

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Not having a broken (or in some other way injured) thumb will probably help.  But you get the feeling that the confidence stems from a bit more than just that.

"You try and analyse what teams and strikers are like more and more by watching videos. But football is football and every game is different. Every time they come in front of you it can be different."

"Yeah, I know [how Kane likes to finish], but I don’t have to say it now.

-Thibaut Courtois; source: Telegraph

There's a sense of goalkeeper coach Christophe Lollichon locking his three charges into a room with terabytes and terabytes of video footage playing endlessly on all four walls, the floor, and the ceiling, too, and not letting them out until they've each learned ever single nuance of Kane's game, his technique, and his tells.  Even if Kane pulls off a couple perfect finishes like he did in their 5-3 win on New Year's Day, you get the sense that Lollichon isn't going to be interested in excuses.

I say all this based on the recently released interview with Lollichon about the 2012 Champions League final penalty kick shootout (it's from an upcoming book about penalty kicks), lovingly translated from French here by an enterprising Redditor.  The story talks about the hours of video and preparation that went into just that one facet of the game.  Each and every possible Bayern shooter was analyzed based on thirteen (13!) different criteria, all their habits, preferences, and tells committed to memory by Čech, Hilario, and Ross Turnbull.  It really is an impressive story and a fun read.  (Go, now!)

So, speaking of penalties, turns out Thibaut Courtois has never been in a shootout (in a competitive senior match).  But is it any wonder that with coaches and teammates like that, he's not scared of having to perhaps face one on Sunday?

I don't think I've played in many.  Just one time in a friendly tournament for Atlético. That was the only time I've been in a penalty shootout. But we will be prepared if the final goes to penalties. We all work with the goalkeepers' coach and we do our thing in practice.

-Thibaut Courtois; source: Telegraph

Courtois is expected to start -- just like against Liverpool in both legs of the semifinal -- as we look for our first trophy of the new Mourinho era.