Harry Redknapp expects Emmanuel Adebayor to keep his cool at Emirates Stadium
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Harry Redknapp is hopeful his Tottenham side can turn the crowd against Arsenal when the two sides meet at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Spurs are looking to assert their dominance in the north London derby at the weekend, in the knowledge that a victory will move them 13 points clear of their local rivals in the Premier League table.
Arsenal are in the doldrums after chastening recent defeats to AC Milan (in the Champions League) and Sunderland (in the FA Cup), and Redknapp hopes his side can use the prevailing mood of desperation around the club to their advantage.
He revealed he will instruct his side to start the game at a high tempo, in a bid to demoralise the crowd and set the tone for the remainder of the contest.
“We’re in good shape. But we’ve just got to keep it going really,” Redknapp said. “Arsenal are dangerous opposition – there’s no doubt about that. They’ve had a bad week but they’ve got good players and we’ve got to be at our best for sure.
“It’s important we start well, we don’t want to give them an early start and let them get their tails up with the crowd behind him. We want to get hold of the ball and frustrate them early in the game, and maybe get that anxiety into the crowd.
“We’ve got a nice cushion at the moment but we’ve all seen 10 points erode very quickly. We’ve got some tough games coming up – a real difficult period, so we need to go there on Sunday and get something from the game for sure.”
A number of key players missed training earlier in the week, but Redknapp is hopeful all will be available for selection by the time the game rolls around. That means Emmanuel Adebayor should be fit to face his former side – and Redknapp expects the Togolese forward to keep his cool despite what will undoubtedly be a frosty reception.
“I’m sure he’ll enjoy going back there and playing,” Redknapp said. “He played well against them at home this year, so I don’t see a problem.
“I’m sure he’ll get some stick as that goes with the territory, but I am sure he can handle it and keep his cool.”
The derby is of great importance to both sets of fans, although Redknapp is not convinced all his players are aware of the deep-rooted significance.
“I don’t know with the foreign lads, whether they understand it as much as we do,” he noted. “You know, we’ve all been brought up with these games – we know what it means in these games.
“But they’ll find out on Sunday, that’s for sure.”