Football

Tottenham Hotspur Vs Arsenal, Wed 20 Apr 2011

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Peter Crouch is available for their north London derby against Arsenal after returning from the suspension that ruled him out of Tottenham's Champions League clash against Real Madrid.

Steven Pienaar (groin) and Niko Kranjcar (foot) could play some part after making good progress in their injury treatment but Wilson Palacios and Alan Hutton (both knee) are still out.

Jonathan Woodgate (calf) and Ledley King (groin) have been training with Tottenham's fitness coaches but are unlikely to be involved in the match at White Hart Lane.

Boss Harry Redknapp has been glowing in his admiration for Arsenal this season, tipping the Gunners to pip Manchester United to the title on several occasions.

A poor run of form since their unexpected Carling Cup final loss to Birmingham has seen Arsene Wenger's team slip behind the Red Devils in the title race though, and they now sit six points behind the leaders with six matches remaining.

Redknapp admits he has been surprised by Arsenal's poor form and thinks their fans may look back at the season at the end of the year and think what might have been.

"They had a couple of games at home they would have thought they should have won and they threw a great opportunity away after they only took a point at the weekend (against Liverpool)," Redknapp said.

"If they had taken those points, you look at where they would be with Man United to play at home - they would have been in pole position. It's amazing how it's turned out."

Redknapp's team will be confident of overcoming their neighbours after they came from behind to claim a 3-2 victory at the Emirates Stadium in November.

A win would see the club complete their first league double over their bitter rivals in 18 years, and further elevate Redknapp's reputation within the game.


 

Arsenal full-back Bacary Sagna (knee) is set to return.

Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia (knee) has also been passed fit, along with midfielders Denilson (toe) and Tomas Rosicky (illness).

Centre-back Thomas Vermaelen continues his rehabilitation from an Achilles problem, but is not yet in first-team contention.

Arsenal have little time to reflect on missed opportunities as they prepare to head to White Hart Lane for what is set to be another intense affair.

Van Persie was not involved when the Gunners ran out 4-1 winners after extra-time in their Carling Cup fixture earlier this season, but cannot wait to sample the derby awayday atmosphere again.

"We always look forward to playing these games," said the Holland striker.

"Maybe it is a good thing we play them this quick after a game like Sunday because we can make things right - there is no better way than [winning] at White Hart Lane

"I always say it is in these bigger games where you become a man, and it is up to us to show that."

Van Persie, 27, feels Tottenham have certainly improved in recent seasons and believes the arrival of fellow Dutchman Rafael van der Vaart can help push them back up into the Champions League places again.

"I have seen Spurs change and fair play to them, they have become a better side and been developing, they got into the top four," he said.

"This year the arrival of Rafael van der Vaart has given them a bit extra to not just stay the top six - he can be their difference from sixth spot to four or three maybe, because he gives them something extra, scoring goals, making assists, is consistent in his game and a good player."

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal
Football
Premier League

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