Keane backs Spurs bench to do the job

Striker claims Tottenham's superior depth gives them the edge over rivals Arsenal

Robbie Keane has kicked off the mind games ahead of this weekend's derby against Arsenal by insisting Harry Redknapp has the greater strength in depth in his Tottenham squad.

Spurs are level on points with their bitter rivals in the Premier League, having played an extra game, but there is genuine hope at White Hart Lane about finishing in the top four this season.

The two clubs look similarly matched in terms of quality ahead of Saturday's Emirates Stadium clash, but Keane claims Spurs' bench gives them the edge.

"You look at the two squads and we're definitely on a par," he said. "In the last four or five years Arsenal always managed to get ahead of us but if you look now it is even. It will be judged at the end of the season but if you look at the bench we have, it is probably a bit stronger than their bench.

"The mentality around the club in previous seasons was that we would be happy to finish fifth or qualify for the Uefa Cup but there is a different feeling now. The players have the feeling that we want to get to the Champions League.

"You can take away Saturday's game because anything can happen in a north London derby – but we need to be judging ourselves against teams like Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea over a season. It's still early days but we're in the top four now. If we can get to Christmas still around there, we'd certainly have every chance."

Keane picked up a knock to his ankle in the Carling Cup victory over Everton but should be available, along with Peter Crouch, Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate after recent injuries.

Aaron Lennon is expected to miss out with an ankle problem but David Bentley staked his claim to deputise with his performance in the 2-0 win over David Moyes' men.

Carlo Cudicini is also nursing a slight injury but would struggle to be picked ahead of Heurelho Gomes even if fit.

Gomes, after making three vital saves against Everton, said: "This period is my best moment since I joined Tottenham."

The former PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper added: "I feel fit, I am confident and I am sharp, so I can help Tottenham all the time. I don't have the problems that were affecting me last year. I am okay now. We played really well against Everton and it's great to be in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup. Now, we're looking forward to the Arsenal game."

Redknapp has been impressed by Gomes and left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto. He said: "He's a good keeper in great form. He's improved as the left-back has – he is one of the most improved you'll see.

"When I first came I wasn't too sure about how good he was but he's got better and better and is up there with the best left-backs in the Premier League."

* Peter Taylor has held brief talks with Ipswich Town manager Roy Keane about joining the coaching staff at Portman Road. Former Hull, Crystal Palace and England Under-21 manager Taylor is available having been sacked by Wycombe earlier this month and Keane is thought to want an experienced coach alongside him as he bids to turn around Town's poor start to the season.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?