Tottenham striker Robbie Keane has added spice to Saturday's North London derby with Arsenal.
Striker says Tottenham are on a par with Arsenal
Tottenham striker Robbie Keane has turned the heat up on Arsenal ahead of the North London derby.
The Irish striker believes his side have a stronger squad than their bitter rivals, and that Tottenham are no longer afraid of Arsenal.
Tottenham lie fourth in the table, level on points with the Gunners, who have a game in hand and the two renew their rivalry at the Emirates on Saturday.
Spurs saw off Everton on Tuesday with a much changed side to book a place in the Carling Cup quarter-finals, with goals from Tom Huddlestone and Keane securing a 2-0 win.
Manager Harry Redknapp fielded a weakened side in the win against the Merseysiders, and that has led Keane to surmise that the Tottenham squad is stronger than Arsenal's.
"You look at the two squads and we're definitely on a par," Keane told the Evening Standard
"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 little bit stronger than their bench."
Redknapp's side are looking to secure a top fourth berth this season, having taken 19 points from their opening 10 Premier League games.
And Keane says the players believe they can qualify for the Champions League after a fine start to the campaign.
"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," he said.
"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 the season.
"It's still early days, but we're in the top four now, so it's important we stay where we are. If we can get to Christmas still around there, we'd certainly have every chance."