Tottenham v Arsenal – TEAM NEWS

Gareth Bale 23Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has recovered from an ankle injury and is in contention for Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal at White Hart Lane. Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas must decide whether to start the striker or risk Emmanuel Adebayor, who was sent off after 18 minutes of the reverse fixture in November. Younes Kaboul, Sandro and Tom Huddlestone are all absent with knee injuries while Clint Dempsey is also missing due to a calf problem.

Arsenal will be without defender Bacary Sagna (knee) for the north London derby. Midfielder Abou Diaby is rated as 50/50 with a calf problem. Defender Kieran Gibbs remains out with a thigh injury.


Andre Villas-Boas: “Jermain trained with the team the last two days and so hopefully he will be available for selection if he trains again tomorrow. He’s definitely a contender for the game. (Champions League qualification) won’t be decided on this weekend, even seven points is still recoverable for a team like Arsenal. It’s very tight bearing in mind the amount of games there are still to be played. But we know the importance of the fixture and how it can impact on the mood of both clubs. There is a pressure on both sides for this game. It will be a special one.”

Arsene Wenger: “We don’t plan for anybody. It is always the same – focus on our strengths and forget about your opponent. There is nobody special that you least like to face. All players have different qualities. What is important when you are a manager is that you are focused, that hasn’t changed over the last 15 years, you always make sure your team is at its best, prepares well and focuses on playing the football that we love. What is important before a game like that is just to focus on our game and forget all the rest.”

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