Redknapp - Spurs edging closer

Boss says sides difficult to seperate and backs Crouch impact

Redknapp: Emirates test

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Harry Redknapp has turned up the heat ahead of the North London derby by insisting Tottenham are closing in on Arsenal.

The White Hart Lane boss feels his bolstered squad has edged them to within touching distance of Arsene Wenger's side with the two teams meeting on Saturday afternoon.

Both sides enter the Emirates Stadium encounter, which can be seen live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1, on 19 points although Tottenham have played a game extra.

Redknapp acknowledges Arsenal's ability to produce free-flowing attractive football but he insists he has the resources at his disposal to cut it with the best.

"I feel we're getting closer to them, without a doubt," Redknapp said.

"They play fantastic football but so do we. We have a squad here capable of matching anyone so we will be going there to win the game, absolutely. We always go for it and we only know one way to play.

"We'll be positive and take it to them. Certain parts of our game can cause them problems and we have to take it to them and give them something to think about it.

"Maybe Arsenal have got a bit more strength in depth, a few more younger players ready to step into the first team, but I think we've got a terrific squad and in certain areas we are stronger than them.

"We've improved by bringing in three strikers, we're strong at central defence and we have two terrific goalkeepers. We have a squad that can cope at the very highest level."

Crouch task

Jermain Defoe misses out through suspension, which paves the way for former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch, who once netted a hat-trick against the Gunners, to start alongside Robbie Keane.

Redknapp said: "Crouchy's played in a lot of big games and World Cups and nothing is going to faze him.

"I am hoping Crouchy can cause them problems and he can be unplayable if you hit him with the right ball. How can a fellow who is six foot beat a fellow who is six foot seven?"

That job will come down to Gunners defender Thomas Vermaelen, a summer signing from Ajax who Redknapp admits was once on his radar.

"I was recommended him as a left-back but we were strong in that position," he said. "The people who recommended him didn't speak of him as a central defender but he and William Gallas look very solid at the back.

"Crouch can cause anybody problems. Vermaelen has a great spring, but if the service is good there's nothing you can do to stop Peter."