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TEEMU AIMS FOR DOUBLE

Posted on 22 April 2006  - 12:00

Teemu Tainio can draw on the experience of a Champions League win at Highbury if he returns from injury in Saturday's big derby.

Teemu Tainio can draw on the experience of a Champions League win at Highbury if he returns from injury in Saturday's big derby.

Turn the clock back to October 2002 and Teemu was a member of the Auxerre side that beat Arsenal 2-1 in a Champions League Group game at Highbury.

That victory made amends for a defeat against the Gunners on home soil in France three weeks earlier.

Teemu played in both games. "I was man of the match at Highbury!" he beamed at Spurs Lodge before talking about Auxerre's tactics on the night.

"We went there determined to win after they beat us in Auxerre," recalled the Finnish midfielder, who has trained this week following a hamstring injury at Everton. "Everyone was really motivated to show them that we could play good football as well.

"We started brightly and went 2-0 up, they scored in the second half but we played well.

"We played quite deep in our half because we didn't want to give them space behind our defence and we were also very aggressive around the pitch.

"Arsenal always play well at Highbury but it's a football match and if you are aggressive enough and have enough courage to try and keep the ball those are the main things."

If fit, Teemu will make his return to Highbury three and a half years on and even more determined to bag the points in what is being billed as one of the biggest North London derby clashes ever.

It's the final derby at Highbury before Arsenal move stadiums and both sides are vying for fourth spot.

"This is the game of the season, no doubts about it," added Teemu.

"When you are a professional footballer, these are the games you want to play and I'm really looking forward to it."