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Pavlyuchenko: Spurs can steal third

Tottenham hotspur finished 2010/11 one place behind the Gunners in fifth, missing out on a place in the upcoming season's Champions League, having progressed further than Arsene Wenger's side in last year's competition.

But the 29-year-old Russia international claims Tottenham have what it takes to correct the mistakes of the previous campaign and leapfrog Arsenal and Manchester City into third place.

"Last season we took a step back, We didn't complete the task of finishing in the top four," Pavlyuchenko said.

"If we hadn't lost so many points at the end we could have fought for a place in the top three.

"Next year I think we really will be in the top three. Tottenham are a very strong team with excellent players.

"It's too early to fight for first or second - Chelsea and Manchester United are a level above - but for the past two seasons we've fought as equals with Man City and Arsenal."

The former Spartak Moscow forward also underlined the importance of the North London derby, describing the often feisty fixture as a 'battle'.

"From the moment I came to Tottenham it was immediately made clear by the fans and the club that the most important games are against Arsenal.

"Both teams go on the pitch not to play football, but to break their backs and battle. It's a fact - no-one is spared. I felt it."

Pavlyuchenko scored 14 goals in 39 matches for Harry Redknapp's side last term.