Arsenal Vs Tottenham Hotspur, Sat 20 Nov 2010

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Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has shaken off a back problem which ruled him out of England's defeat to France and comes into contention for the north London derby clash with Tottenham.

There were no other injury concerns from the midweek international friendlies, Laurent Koscielny returns from a two-game suspension and Nicklas Bendtner (groin) should be available after missing the win at Everton.

Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia (elbow), centre-half Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles), midfielder Abou Diaby (ankle) remain out, while Aaron Ramsey continues his rehabilitation following a broken leg.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has questioned the logic of any Arsenal fan aiming abuse at William Gallas in the north London derby.

Gallas will return to the Emirates Stadium for the first time since completing one of the most controversial transfers of recent times by joining their arch-rivals Spurs.

Crossing the north London divide this summer has all but guaranteed the former Gunners captain a hostile reception from the Emirates Stadium crowd.

But Redknapp cannot understand anyone wanting to jeer the 33-year-old, who was released by Arsenal at the end of last season.

He said: "You play for a club, play well for them: you should get a good reception, surely? What do they want to give them abuse for?

"He got freed from Arsenal and I took him to Tottenham and he wants to play football.

"He's come here and played, done great for us.

"He's taken us where we are in the Champions League. He's played a big part in that and in the league.

"I hope he gets a good reception."

Redknapp backed the vastly-experienced Gallas, who joined Arsenal from Chelsea in 2006, to cope with whatever is thrown at him.

"His frame of mind: he's a strong character; nothing fazes him," Redknapp said.

"He'll go back there, look forward to the game and be ready to play."

Yet Bacary Sagna has declared "war" on Gallas.

But the Gunners full-back insisted the pair would resume their strong friendship as soon as the final whistle is blown at the Emirates Stadium.

This weekend sees Gallas return to his former club for the first time since crossing the north London divide in one of the most controversial transfers of recent years.

The 33-year-old Tottenham defender can expect a hostile reception from the home fans, many of whom will have branded him a traitor.

And Gallas will be very much the enemy as far as Sagna is concerned during the lunchtime clash.

"On the pitch there is a war, but off the pitch we are all friends," he said.

Indeed, Gallas' fellow Frenchman bears no grudge towards his former captain for joining Arsenal's arch-rivals.

"I'm not angry at him because he signed for our rivals," said Sagna.

"He was always very professional (here) and he always gave everything.

"Football is football; I'm not furious against him.

"He needed to leave to play football and that is what he loves."

Gallas' temperament was questioned during his time as Arsenal captain and he was infamously stripped of the armband after attacking his team-mates.

"That was his hunger because he wanted to win so much," Sagna said.

"Maybe he expressed it in a bad way but it was not bad at all because he wanted us to win."

He added: "He deserves a good reception because during the time he played for Arsenal he always did well."

Sagna believes it is too soon to start comparing Gareth Bale with the best players in the world but has no doubt of the threat he poses.

"He's doing very well at the moment but don't put pressure on him too early," Sagna said.

"At the moment, he's one of the most dangerous wingers."

Jermain Defoe returns to the Tottenham squad.

The England striker could be involved in the Barclays Premier League game at the Emirates Stadium after recovering from ankle surgery almost a month ahead of schedule.

Aaron Lennon looks to have overcome a hamstring injury but Niko Kranjcar is doubtful with a calf problem and could join Robbie Keane (ankle), Giovani dos Santos (groin) and long-term absentees Tom Huddlestone (ankle), captain Ledley King (groin), Michael Dawson (ligament damage), Jamie O'Hara (back) and Jonathan Woodgate (groin) on the sidelines.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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