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AVB hopes Adebayor will be fired up over Arsenal past

Emmanuel Adebayor. Photo: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport Emmanuel Adebayor. Photo: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

Friday, November 16, 2012
8:22 AM

Andre Villas-Boas hopes Emmanuel Adebayor’s tumultuous history with Arsenal will help drive Tottenham to victory in tomorrow’s north London derby.

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Tottenham head to the Emirates Stadium knowing a win will move them four points clear of their bitter rivals in the Barclays Premier League.

Despite Jermain Defoe’s recent goal scoring exploits, Villas-Boas looks set to keep faith with Adebayor as he feels the Togo marksman will be desperate to show his former employers what they are missing.

Adebayor was widely praised when he broke in to the Gunners’ first team, but his decision to leave for Manchester City angered the Arsenal faithful, who then became further enraged when the 28-year-old joined bitter rivals Tottenham.

Villas-Boas acknowledges playing Adebayor could backfire but hopes the player will use his ire towards the Arsenal fans who barracked him last season to good effect.

The Tottenham manager said: “I suggest to make the most of (the situation) we can use individual’s motivations and that is why we used Adebayor also in the game versus City last week. These are things that you have to count on.

“Hopefully it can have a positive effect but it can have a negative effect. Last year he scored from the penalty spot and had a good game and this is the type of revolt and motivation for matches like this.”

Tottenham have not finished above their neighbours in the Premier League since Gerry Francis was in charge some 18 years ago.

But with Arsenal struggling for form, and Villas-Boas having plenty of confidence about his team’s ability, the Portuguese thinks this could be the year where the balance of power swings towards the white half of north London.

“We have to (finish above Arsenal),” Villas-Boas added.

“It is possible to bridge the gap.

“We are looking at trying to shorten the gap and not letting it grow.

“To play for fourth spot is difficult bearing in mind the competition you have to overcome. It’s possible to bridge it.

“Arsenal have won trophies in recent times and they have qualified for the Champions League more often. That is where we want to be in the future. We’re getting nearer.”

Tottenham will monitor the progress of Jermain Defoe and Kyle Walker today as they attempt to overcome the hamstring injuries they suffered at Manchester City last weekend.

Playmaker Mousa Dembele will miss the fixture with the hip injury which has kept him out of the last seven games.

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Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners.

Ground: Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,361).

Founded: 1886.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004.

FA Cup: 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005.

League Cup: 1987, 1993.

Fairs Cup: 1970.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1994.

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry, 228.

Leading appearances: David O’Leary, 722.