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Feb 21, 2012

VDV ready to extend Arsenal's misery

Rafael Van der Vaart expects to be fit to face Arsenal this weekend, as Tottenham bid to heap more misery on their suffering neighbours.

• Spurs bid for Damiao
• Spurs Hazard interest

Spurs head to the Emirates with a staggering ten-point lead over the Gunners, who have previously enjoyed decades of superiority over their north London rivals. Victory for Harry Redknapp's men would further dent Arsenal's bid for Champions League qualification, in a season that seems destined to end without a trophy.

Van der Vaart has missed Tottenham's last three games with a calf problem picked up in the 3-1 win over Wigan. A scorer of seven league goals this season, the Dutchman has formed a strong partnership with Emmanuel Adebayor, although new signing Louis Saha has also looked dangerous in his absence.

However, in peak condition Van der Vaart is one of Tottenham's key names on the starting teamsheet, and he plans to return to training on Wednesday ahead of the weekend's game.

"I'm recovering well from my injury," Van der Vaart told his official website. "I expect to be joining the team training on Wednesday after which I will start to focus on the match against Arsenal. I'll be happy to play Arsenal. I can't wait."

Van der Vaart was one of several players missing from Tottenham's recent 0-0 draw at Stevenage in the FA Cup fifth round. However, he is convinced Spurs can get the job done in the replay and go on to lift the trophy.

"Of course it's a pity we didn't win," said the Dutchman. "I'm convinced we will be able to defeat Stevenage in our home game and will reach the next round of the FA Cup."

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