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Oct 29, 2009

Tottenham's Keane: We're stronger than Arsenal

Tottenham captain Robbie Keane has kicked off the mind games ahead of this weekend's derby against Arsenal by insisting Harry Redknapp has the greater strength in depth in his squad.

Spurs are level points with their bitter rivals in the Premier League, having played a game more, but there is genuine hope at White Hart Lane about breaking into the top four.

The two clubs look similarly matched in terms of quality and ahead of the Emirates Stadium clash on Saturday, Keane believes the Spurs bench could give them the edge.

''You look at the two squads and we're definitely on a par,'' he said. ''In the last four or five years Arsenal always managed to get ahead of us but if you look now it is even.

''It will be judged at the end of the season but if you look at the bench we have, it is probably a bit stronger than their bench.

''The mentality around the club in previous seasons was that we would be happy to finish fifth or qualify for the UEFA Cup, but there is a different feeling now. The players have the feeling that we want to get to the Champions League.

''You can take away Saturday's game because anything can happen in a north London derby - but we need to be judging ourselves against teams like Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea over a season.

''It's still early days but we're in the top four now. If we can get to Christmas still around there, we'd certainly have every chance.''

Keane picked up a knock to his ankle in the Carling Cup victory over Everton but should be available, along with Peter Crouch, Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate after recent injuries.

Aaron Lennon is expected to miss out with an ankle problem but David Bentley staked his claim to deputise with his performance in the 2-0 win over David Moyes' men. Carlo Cudicini is also nursing a slight injury but would struggle to get ahead of Heurelho Gomes even if he was fit.

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