Defoe: Tottenham the better bet

  • Last Updated: March 7 2013, 7:50 GMT

Jermain Defoe is so sure Tottenham will finish above Arsenal that he is willing to enter into another charity bet with Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere.

Jermain Defoe: Lost charity bet with Jack Wilshere last season
Jermain Defoe: Lost charity bet with Jack Wilshere last season

Defoe had to pay £3,000 to charity last season after he lost a bet with Wilshere that Tottenham would finish above their north London rivals for the first time since 1995.

The Spurs striker lost the wager after his team threw away a 10-point lead over the Gunners. This season they are seven points ahead with 10 games left.

Yet Defoe, who played in Tottenham's 2-1 win over Arsenal on Sunday, believes Spurs are made of stronger stuff this season.

"We all know what happened last season," said Defoe.

"At the time, when I did have the bet, I thought we would have finished higher than Arsenal and I still feel like that now.

"Jack's a cool guy, there's a little bit of banter and even though we beat them quite comfortably, I still think they're a good side, but I suppose if Jack wants a little bet, it's no problem with me.

"We've not just got a great team now, but a great squad. The spirit is great, the lads are buzzing and it's just a great time to be here."

The key reason spirits are so high in the Spurs camp is the form of Gareth Bale, who has scored nine of his 20 goals this season in the last seven games.

Bale put in two scintillating performances against Inter Milan two and a half years ago and Spurs are hoping he will do the same when they take on the Italian giants again in the first leg of their Europa League last 16 tie at White Hart Lane tonight.

"Gaz is on fire right now. Aaron Lennon has been great as well. On their day they are unstoppable," Defoe said.

"Michael Dawson has been playing well and so has everyone else. You can name everyone in the squad but when you talk about special players, Gaz has scored some special goals out of nothing.

"When you see great goals I always appreciate it and if he keeps doing it it's good for everyone and we're all happy."

The threat of racist chanting hangs over tonight's game after Inter were fined £43,200 for their fans' abuse of Mario Balotelli during the recent Milan derby.

Defoe was the target of racist chanting from Lazio fans in the Europa League group stages and he admits he is dismayed that such incidents still occur.

He said: "It is really disappointing. It seems to be happening a lot.

"I am doing my job and trying to win a game for my team. I shouldn't be getting racially abused, it's silly."


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