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Feb, 22, 2012

Adebayor confident of fitness

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor is hopeful of winning his fitness battle in time to face former club Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

• Van der Vaart to return

Adebayor, 27, has impressed for Spurs during his season-long loan from Manchester City, scoring 10 goals in all competitions.

Tottenham are still in the title hunt, but they will face a test of their resolve against North London rivals Arsenal. It will be a highly charged atmosphere, especially for Adebayor who is a hate figure for many Gunners fans following his exit from the club in 2009.

His participation in the game is in doubt due to a knee problem, but the forward is confident of winning his fitness race.

"Really happy with the progress," Adebayor wrote on Twitter. "Knee is looking much better. Working on my fitness for Sunday."

Meanwhile, striker Jermain Defoe is confident his team can complete their first north London derby double in almost 20 years this weekend.

''It's going to be a difficult game but I'm confident, obviously, with the way we're playing,'' Defoe told radio station LBC 97.3. ''We've got a really strong squad now and everyone's playing well.

''Everyone's firing and team spirit is fantastic which I think is always important if you want to try to achieve something. We've got a great chance to go there and get three points.''

The Gunners' erratic form has left them vying with Chelsea for fourth place and they are almost certainly out of the Champions League following their humiliating 4-0 defeat in the first leg of their last-16 tie at AC Milan last week.

For that reason, Defoe thinks three points will matter more to Arsenal than Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.

''It means more to Arsenal than us obviously because of the way things have gone for them this season,'' he said. ''I think it's been a lot of ups and downs, where at the beginning they didn't start too well, then they picked it up and then they've had a little blip again.''

Arsenal controlled large parts of the reverse fixture [which they lost 2-1] at the start of the season and would have come away with a point had it not been for Kyle Walker's wonder strike 17 minutes from time.

Defoe is therefore worried about taking Sunday's opponents lightly despite their recent poor form.

''I've always said they're a good team,'' he added. ''You can't write Arsenal off. In football it's always the next game, you can change it in the next one. And I think, playing against us, it'll be a different Arsenal from what people have seen over the last few weeks.''

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