ADE­BAYOR SPURRED ON BY RE­TURN TO EMI­RATES

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By XXXX XXXXXX By MIKE MCGRATH

EM­MANUEL ADE­BAYOR is hopeful of be­ing fit for his first re­turn to the Emi­rates as a Tot­ten­ham player.

The ex-arse­nal hit­man, who an­gered Gun­ners fans when he ran the length of the pitch to cel­e­brate in front of them af­ter scor­ing for Manch­ester City, has been strug­gling with a knee in­jury.

He missed the FA Cup clash with Steve­nage at the week­end but trained yes­ter­day and is ex­pected to re­ceive a hos­tile wel­come if he makes the derby on Sun­day.

“Re­ally happy with the progress, knee is look­ing much bet­ter,” he wrote on Twit­ter.

“Work­ing on fit­ness for Sun­day.”

Rafael van der Vaart also be­lieves he will be fit for the Premier League clash.

“I’m re­cov­er­ing well from my calf in­jury,” said Van der Vaart.

“I ex­pect to be join­ing the team train­ing on Wed­nes­day, af­ter which

my I will start to fo­cus on the match.

“I’ll be happy to play Arse­nal. I can’t wait.”

Spurs have a ma­jor con­cern over left-back Benoit As­sou-ekotto.

Danny Rose, who scored a spec­tac­u­lar goal against Arse­nal two sea­sons ago, could deputise – but he has not started a Premier League game this sea­son.

Gun­ners boss Arsene Wenger is de­ter­mined his un­der­per­form­ing play­ers will de­liver on Sun­day as they look to stay in the top four af­ter their 4-0 Cham­pi­ons League hu­mil­i­a­tion at AC Mi­lan was fol­lowed by a dis­ap­point­ing exit from the FA Cup at Sun­der­land.

Lau­rent Ko­scielny hob­bled off at the San Siro, but the French cen­tre-half is ex­pected to re­cover from his knee prob­lem in time to face Spurs.

Ger­man in­ter­na­tional Per Merte­sacker is out for the rest of the sea­son af­ter dam­ag­ing an­kle lig­a­ments in the Premier League win at Sun­der­land a fort­night ago.

But the cen­tre-back in­sists he will re­cover from an op­er­a­tion in time to play some part for his na­tional team at Euro 2012.

FIT­NESS BAT­TLE: Ade­bayor

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