Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp wants to be top London club

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Redknapp targets top spot in London

Barclays Premier League: Arsenal v Tottenham

Venue:
Emirates Stadium
Date:
Sunday, 26 February
Time:
1330 GMT
Coverage:
Live text commentary on this website and live radio commentary on BBC London 94.9

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says his priority for the season is to finish above north London rivals Arsenal.

The sides meet at Emirates Stadium on Sunday with 13 Premier League games remaining and Spurs 10 points ahead.

"That's the most important thing for me this year to be honest, to be the top London club," said Redknapp.

Spurs, who won the reverse fixture 2-1 in October, last finished above Arsenal 17 years ago in the 1994-95 season.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has bettered the league finish of his various Spurs counterparts in his 15 previous seasons at the club and has refused to give up hope of doing so again.

"You can only see at the end of the season. The only thing you can say is in the last 15 years Spurs have finished behind Arsenal," he said.

The last time Tottenham trumped Arsenal in the league, George Graham was sacked as Gunners boss in February 1995 as he failed to keep pace with a Spurs side that came seventh on the back of Jurgen Klinsmann's 21 goals.

The current Arsenal team have failed to score in their last two matches, losing 2-0 to Sunderland in the FA Cup after a 4-0 trashing by AC Milan in the Champions League, and former defender Lee Dixon has described Sunday's match as

Redknapp hopes his side can make the most of Arsenal's current troubles and cement third spot ahead of the Gunners and fellow Londoners Chelsea, who are also 10 points behind them.

"We have got a nice cushion at the moment but we have all seen 10 points erode very quickly. We have got a tough run of games coming up," he added.

"We have had the upper hand in the derby for the last few years, but they are a good side and dangerous opposition.

"We want to make sure that in the first 15 minutes or so we dictate, get hold of the ball and frustrate them early in the game and get that anxiety coming through in the crowd."

The match will be the first time that former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor has played at Emirates Stadium for Tottenham.

The Togo international ran the length of the pitch to celebrate a goal in front of the Arsenal fans in September 2009 after his acrimonious departure to Manchester City.

The two clubs have asked both sets of fans to stay calm at the match, but Redknapp admits Adebayor will be unable to avoid some abuse.

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Wenger wants players to show character

"I suppose he will get some stick - that goes with the territory when you go back to your old clubs - but I'm sure he can handle it," he said.

"Hopefully he will keep his cool and that's what he needs to do."

Wenger's side are at risk of missing out on Champions League football and the Frenchman said securing a place among Europe's elite next season is vital.

"It is an important game because we have an opportunity to come back closer to Spurs so we can strengthen our position in the fourth place [which] is an important target for the season," he added.

"Every game is massive now until the end of the season. But it is exciting. What is terrible is to play a game of no importance."

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