Tottenham boosted by return of key twosome

Tottenham Hotspur forwards Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafael van der Vaart are fit to face to Arsenal in Sunday's derby with manager Harry Redknapp setting his sights on finishing as the top London club in the Premier League this season.

"I'm sure he [Adebayor] will enjoy going back and playing there," Redknapp told reporters on Friday when asked how the striker would deal with returning to his former club in the colours of their arch rivals.

"He will get some stick, that goes with the territory now when you go back to your old club, but I'm sure he can handle it."

Adebayor, 27, has enjoyed a highly successful season at Spurs since arriving on loan from Manchester City having spent more than three years at Arsenal before leaving in 2009.

In his first game against Arsenal in City's colours, he ran the length of the pitch to celebrate a goal in front of the travelling Gunners fans after suffering verbal abuse throughout the match.

Arsenal supporters have never forgiven him and, having faced more abuse in the match at White Hart Lane earlier this season, the Togo striker can expect a testing afternoon on his return. The clubs on Thursday issued a joint statement strongly condemning abusive chanting.

Redknapp, who has been widely tipped as the next England manager, again told reporters he had not received any approach from the FA about the job and his focus was clearly on the visit to Emirates Stadium with third-placed Spurs looking to at least preserve their 10-point lead over Arsenal, who are fourth.

Asked how important it was to finish as the top London side this season, something Spurs have not achieved since 1995, Redknapp said: "That's the most important thing for me this year.

"I really want to try to finish as the top London club and at least get that third place if we can but it can all change very quickly.

"Finishing third would be the key and anything above that would be a fantastic bonus but I want third place at least.

"We have got a nice cushion at the moment but we have all seen 10 points erode very quickly. We have got a tough run of games coming up," he added at the club's training ground.


"Arsenal are dangerous opposition. It will be a difficult game. It's important we start well. We want to make sure that in the first 15 minutes or so we dictate, get hold of the ball and frustrate them early in the game and get that anxiety coming through in the crowd."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been criticised by the fans following a poor run which has left his side with a mountain to climb after a 4-0 defeat at AC Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League.

They are also out of the FA Cup after a 2-0 loss at Sunderland in the fifth round but Redknapp said they should keep faith with the Frenchman.

"They have had a bad week with the Milan game and Sunderland. But look at his record - it's fantastic. Champions League football for 15 years running - it's an amazing achievement. What he has done at Arsenal has been incredible really. He is a top manager."

Midfielder Luca Modric is available for Spurs having missed the FA Cup Fifth Round draw with Stevenage last weekend through illness.

Left-back Benoit Assou Ekotto should also be ready to play after a groin operation although former Arsenal defender William Gallas is still out with a calf problem, Redknapp said.

Adebayor also missed last Sunday's draw at Stevenage after twisting his knee while Dutchman Van der Vaart has struggled this season with injuries and returns following a three-game absence to face opposition he has a knack of scoring against, with four goals in three north London derbies.