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Oct 30, 2009

Wenger: Andrei Arshavin will torment Spurs

Arsene Wenger has tipped Arsenal's Andrei Arshavin to torment Tottenham Hotspur when the two sides convene for the first North London derby of the season on Saturday.

• ESPN Soccernet preview: Arsenal v Tottenham
• Almunia to return for Spurs showdown

Only Tottenham's failure to agree a financial package with Zenit St Petersburg prevented Arshavin from becoming a Spurs player following his impressive performance at Euro 2008 but at Emirates Stadium he will be lining up as a key player for their North London rivals.

Arshavin has been a revelation since joining Arsenal in January, scoring five goals already this season, and Saturday will be his first real experience of the passionate derby as he was an unused substitute in a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane in February.

Wenger fully expects the forward to show Spurs exactly what they are missing when they make the trip down Seven Sisters Road in search of their first victory in N5 since 1993. The two clubs are currently level on 19 points, with Arsenal having played a game less.

"Arshavin can change any game, anywhere at any moment so I believe he will have a great game tomorrow," Wenger said. "He is a player I love, not only because he is talented but because he is efficient. I am confident he will have a big impact on the game tomorrow."

Wenger also responded to another public comment from Emmanuel Adebayor regarding his former employers. In an interview on Thursday, the Manchester City striker claimed he was forced out of Emirates Stadium over the summer and that captain Cesc Fabregas could be the next player to leave.

However, Wenger is refusing to indulge in a public quarrel with the player he signed from Monaco in January 2006, with the Frenchman instead focusing attention on what is a significant game for his side on Saturday.

"Frankly, I'm not really bothered about what he says," Wenger said. "Why should I react to quotes that may not even be accurate? What is important for me is that we play well tomorrow. For the rest, we have to live with what people say but it is not really important.

"Nobody knows what's happening next week so why should you speculate or worry about statements of that calibre? They are not anything realistic, it's just talk."

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