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Premier League preview: Tottenham v Arsenal

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Apr 2011

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There will be plenty at stake when Arsenal and Tottenham meet in the North London derby in the English Premier League.

Arsenal will be hoping to keep the pressure on leaders Manchester United, while Spurs’ eyes will be on the Champions League when they go head to head at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.

The Gunners are six points behind United with six games to play and – with far too many points dropped by the Londoners in the second half of the season – they will need luck to have any chance of upsetting Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

For Harry Redknapp’s men, the rest of the season is all about trying to secure a Champions League berth for 2011/12.

Spurs enjoyed a magical run in this season’s European tournament that included defeats of Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Dutch champions Twente and AC Milan before they were eventually eliminated in the quarter-finals by Real Madrid.

Redknapp’s men proved that they could compete among the region’s elite, but with three points between them and fourth-placed Manchester City – albeit with a game in hand – their time in Europe’s premier club competition could prove fleeting.

In their last league game, Spurs played a scintillating first half at home against Stoke on their way to a 3-2 win on April 9.

Arsenal were held to an extraordinary 1-1 draw at home against Liverpool on Sunday, which saw two second-half injury-time penalties converted.

The last time the two sides met, Arsenal threw away a 2-0 lead at half-time to hand Spurs their first away win over the Gunners for 17 years, with second-half goals to Gareth Bale, Rafael van der Vaart and Younes Kaboul lifting the visitors to a memorable victory.

Arsene Wenger boasts the healthier of the two squads, with only goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and defender Thomas Vermaelen certain to miss out, although the latter is back in full training after missing most of the season with Achilles tendon problems.

Right back Bacary Sagna could resume after recovering from a knee problem, while midfielder Denilson appears to have overcome a toe complaint.

Redknapp’s problems centre around his defence, with Alan Hutton, Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King all unavailable for selection with respective knee, calf and groin problems.

They could, however, welcome back speedy midfielder Steven Pienaar from a groin strain. Defensive midfielder Wilson Palacios is a chance to return from a knee injury.

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