x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Van der Vaart: Arsenal game don't come much bigger

Rafael van der Vaart hails tonight's match against Arsenal as "one of the biggest of the year" as Tottenham Hotspur look to edge closer to fourth place and a Champions League place.

Rafael van der Vaart has hailed tonight's match against Arsenal as "one of the biggest of the year" as Tottenham Hotspur look to edge closer to fourth place in the table to ensure a quick return to Champions League football.

Spurs enjoyed an impressive debut season in Europe's stellar competition, beating heavyweights such as Inter and AC Milan before being eliminated in the quarter-finals by Real Madrid.

And Van der Vaart, who was inspirational in Spurs' 3-2 comeback win against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in November, has targeted another three points against the Gunners at White Hart Lane tonight to help move them level on points with fourth-placed Manchester City with six games remaining.

"We are coming to the end of the season and we want to be in the top four," the Dutch forward told the club's website yesterday. "It is quite close [for fourth place] so we have to win our games and tomorrow is one of the biggest of the year."

Van der Vaart moved to London from Madrid last summer and he endeared himself to Tottenham fans when his penalty drew his side level before his free kick was headed in by Younes Kaboul to seal a dramatic late victory against Arsenal.

"When I arrived, the people spoke to me and said that Arsenal is the biggest game of the year," Van der Vaart said. "I obviously have good contact with [Arsenal's] Robin van Persie and he told me that these are the biggest games but winning at the Emirates after being 2-0 down, that was a great start for me.

"Arsenal want to be the champions this year so they need to win but we also need to win. I think it will be an open game and hopefully there will be some great goals."