Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has praised the form of striker Jermain Defoe ahead of his side's Saturday clash with Chelsea at White Hart Lane. 

Defoe has struggled to get a place in the first team in the Premier League this season with the summer arrival of Roberto Soldado demoting him to second choice. 

But the England international has scored a double in each of his last three starts outside of the league - in the Europa League against Dinamo Tbilisi and Tromso IL and in Tueday's 4-0 thrashing of Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup.

And Villas-Boas says that Defoe's form means that he will be considered as a competitor for a first-team start as long as he keeps scoring goals when given the opportunity.

“He is doing extremely well,” said Villas-Boas.

“He’s been excellent every time that he is given his opportunity.

“He is scoring goals for fun, which is what he has done throughout his career, and ticking all the right boxes.

“He is competing for that position with Soldado which he has been from the start, but he is responding extremely well to every opportunity, I’m very, very happy.”

Spurs currently sit second in the Premier League, with only local rivals Arsenal ahead of them on goal difference.

The north London side were able to add quality to their squad over the summer transfer window and Villas-Boas believes that Defoe's performances are further proof that his side are strong throughout the team.

“We have great strength in depth this year, not only the team is scoring but also preventing the other teams from scoring," he added.

“We have in this dressing room a great team spirit and ambition to reach our objectives, and I think that’s why they (the players) have approached every single game with great responsibility and professionalism.”

On Saturday Tottenham will be hoping to right the wrongs of their home league game with Chelsea last season when they went down 4-2.  

Tottenham Hotspur
Jermain Defoe