Harry Redknapp welcomes Jermain Defoe derby return

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Harry Redknapp welcomes Jermain Defoe derby return

Post  nirvana on Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:57 pm

Defoe sustained his ankle injury while on international duty with England
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has welcomed the return to fitness of striker Jermain Defoe ahead of Saturday's derby clash at Arsenal.
Defoe has been sidelined for just over two months following surgery on damaged ankle ligaments.
But he returned to training a month ahead of schedule this week and Redknapp said: "It's great to have him back. He's a fantastic goalscorer."
Meanwhile, Arsenal's Jack Wilshere hopes to be fit after a back problem.
The 18-year-old midfielder had been expected to make his first start for England against France on Wednesday, but missed the 2-1 defeat with a back problem.
However, he said on Twitter : "Feeling better, training tomorrow [Friday] and hopefully selected for Saturday."
Manager Arsene Wenger told Arsenal TV: "He has a strain of a little muscle in his back - we'll know more on Friday."
Wilshere, who has impressed for the Gunners this season and made 13 starts, is not the only Arsenal player facing a fitness test on his return from international duty, with midfielders Andrey Arshavin and Tomas Rosicky also to be monitored.

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Arshavin played in Russia's 2-0 home defeat by Belgium while Rosicky was involved in the Czech Republic's 0-0 draw in Denmark.
"We have to assess Arshavin, who has still to come back," Wenger added.
"Rosicky is coming in later too. He had a tight hamstring, but should be OK.
"[Robin] van Persie had 45 minutes [for the Netherlands in their 1-0 win over Turkey], which was agreed. He needed that. We had someone at the game and he looked quite sharp."
Arsenal head into the match on the back of two encouraging away wins at Wolves and Everton, but the defensive frailties which have haunted Wenger's team this season have mostly occurred at home.
West Brom and, most recently, Newcastle have both scored surprise away wins at the Emirates this season, and another home defeat would threaten to undermine the Gunners' title ambitions.
Tottenham, however, have a host of injury worries as they approach the match against their fierce rivals, with the likes of Tom Huddlestone, Michael Dawson, Ledley King, Vedran Corluka, Robbie Keane and Aaron Lennon on the sidelines.

The threat I see for us is not Spurs, but two players-Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart
Their absence makes Defoe's return all the more welcome for the north Londoners, with Redknapp claiming the diminutive frontman "would've certainly had six or seven goals by this stage of the season".
Spurs currently lie three places and three points outside the Champions League reckoning, meaning only a victory will do if they are not to risk falling further behind in the race for a top four spot.
And Gareth Bale, who has been in terrific form this season, insists Saturday's encounter is another must-win match.
"We need to win every game we play at the moment," said the Welsh winger.
"We're good enough to beat anybody and we've shown that in the past. It will be a massive test obviously, away at the Emirates, but we'll be ready for it."

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