LONDON - Arsenal may revive their Premier League title push with their new creative weapon Andrei Arshavin in Sunday's north London derby while arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur will turn to a more familiar form of attack. With Jermain Defoe injured, Robbie Keane is likely to spearhead the Spurs strikeforce, making his first appearance since re-signing for the club from Liverpool this week and also wearing the captain's armband at White Hart Lane. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger must weigh up Arshavin's match fitness, with the 27-year-old playmaker having joined on Tuesday from Zenit St Petersburg during the Russian close season. Having bemoaned his team's lack of creativity earlier this week, Wenger could be tempted to give the imaginative Russian a debut as the fifth-placed side bid to close the 10-point gap on leaders Manchester United. Wenger said he was not looking to Arshavin for miracles. "We don't need an instant saviour," he said before signing the forward for a deal widely reported to be worth up to 15 million pounds ($21.60 million). "I don't believe in them." The fixture has produced plenty of goals in recent years, including October's 4-4 draw at the Emirates stadium although neither side would be happy to share the points this time with Spurs hovering just a point above the relegation zone. Spurs manager Harry Redknapp's firepower has been damaged by news that striker Defoe could be out for up to 10 weeks with a stress fracture in his right foot less than a month after re-joining the club from Portsmouth. LATE GOALS With Manchester United not playing until Sunday, Liverpool can snatch back top spot on Saturday if they beat a freefalling Portsmouth who have yet to win in the league this year. Rafael Benitez has told his players they need to tighten up defensively in the dying minutes of matches, although his side once again conceded late on in losing to city rivals Everton in their FA Cup fourth-round replay on Wednesday. "We have clearly had a few games where we've let in late goals but then we've also had some where we've come back late on," Benitez told the club's website before the clash with Everton, who won 1-0 with a late goal in extra time. Liverpool could be without captain Steven Gerrard who limped off injured early in the first half against Everton. Champions United, who have a game in hand on their rivals, visit West Ham United on Sunday knowing that their previous two trips to Upton Park have ended in defeat. Local media have reported United striker Wayne Rooney could be fit for the match having been out of action since the middle of last month with a hamstring injury. Third-placed Chelsea host mid-table Hull City, while fourth-placed Aston Villa visit struggling Blackburn Rovers. ARSENAL FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas Q&A Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas One on One Arsene Wenger, Thierry Henry, Ian Wright Boy's A Bit Special Theo Walcott, Armand Traore Perfect XI Ian Wright What Happened Next? Gus Caesar, Peter Marinello And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Rate Arsenal players (and others) on Talentspotter SPURS FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Les Ferdinand, Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker, Glenn Hoddle, Frederic Kanoute One on One Paul Gascoigne, Les Ferdinand, Ossie Ardiles Boy's A Bit Special Chris Gunter, John Bostock Ask A Silly Question Garth Crooks Perfect XI Ossie Ardiles My Secret Vice Neil Ruddock Plus! Martin Peters on Weekend Wonders and Spurs on Talentspotter
5 February 2009
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