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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 27, 2007

Sevilla's Kanoute relishing Arsenal challenge

Sevilla striker Freddie Kanoute is relishing the chance to lock horns with former rivals Arsenal when the Premier League leaders visit the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan tonight.

Kanoute has faced the Gunners on numerous occasions - having spent five years in England playing for West Ham and Tottenham, and the Mali international has vivid memories of clashes with Arsene Wenger's side.

'I am looking forward to playing against Arsenal, because I have played at Tottenham - and they have also been passionate games,' he recalled.

'That is a very fierce derby, and I hope to be able to show (tonight) that we can win.'

Kanoute is likely to come up against Ivory Coast international Kolo Toure - a player he could become well-acquainted with over the next few months.

'He is a very strong and good defender. We will also face each other in the African Cup of Nations, because we are in the same group,' said the 30-year-old.

Kanoute was closely linked with a move back to the Premier League this summer, and similar suggestions have resurfaced since former Sevilla coach Juande Ramos moved to Spurs.

But he said: 'I am not thinking about playing in England again, only about Sevilla.'

Sevilla have a chance to replace unbeaten leaders Arsenal at the top of Champions League Group H, with just one point separating the sides.

Two-time and reigning UEFA Cup champions Sevilla cannot be considered favourites, because they lost 3-0 to Arsenal in the first meeting and have also been defeated in their last two Primera Liga matches.

The latest setback came against Real Mallorca at home on Saturday, but Kanoute is confident that result and performance will have no bearing on tonight's team.

'Right now I'm not thinking about the past - neither the 3-0 in London nor the result against Mallorca,' he said.

'I only have tremendous desire to show that we are not the team that we saw two days ago, because that was not the true face of Sevilla. I only hope that we play how we know we can.

'We are not down at all. We are eager to erase what happened the other day. I see a lot of desire in the team. This is a new game, and we already know that Sevilla always turn up when they have an important game.

'I don't think that against Arsenal we will be lacking motivation.

'We need to start like against Real Madrid or Valencia. Against good teams we have to press our opponents much more than, for example, two days ago.'

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