Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe REUTERS

Jermain Defoe has claimed that this weekend's upcoming Tottenham and Arsenal derby means more to the Gunners than their cross-town rivals, with the match set to be tough for both clubs in their pursuit of a Champions League spot.

Spurs saw off Arsenal 2-1 back in October, and the match set the stage for what has so far been a season where Harry Redknapp's squad have dominated their rivals in the Premier League table.

And as Tottenham prepare to face Arsenal on Sunday, and hope to take three points and heap pressure on title leaders Manchester City and Manchester United, Defoe has thrown the first punch off the pitch, saying that he believes the game is much more important to the Gunners than his teammates.

"It means more to Arsenal than us obviously because of the way things have gone for them this season," he told radio station LBC 97.3.

"I think it's been a lot of ups and downs, where at the beginning they didn't start too well, then they picked it up and then they've had a little blip again."

Defoe is refusing to underestimate Arsenal, despite their heavy loss to AC Milan in the Champions League last 16, and the striker predicts that the side is set to bounce back, and will be desperate to beat Tottenham after losing to the side in October.

"I've always said they're a good team," he explained.

"You can't write Arsenal off. In football it's always the next game, you can change it in the next one. And I think, playing against us, it'll be a different Arsenal from what people have seen over the last few weeks."

But Defoe still believes that Tottenham will come out of the match victors, and defeat their rivals twice in a season for the first time since the 1992/93 season.

"It's going to be a difficult game but I'm confident, obviously, with the way we're playing," he said.

"We've got a really strong squad now and everyone's playing well.

"Everyone's firing and team spirit is fantastic which I think is always important if you want to try to achieve something.

"We've got a great chance to go there and get three points."