Jermain Defoe back in training ahead of North London derby

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After initially being ruled out for three months, Harry Redknapp has received a timely boost on the injury front as Jermain Defoe returns to training a month ahead of schedule.

Spurs’ injury list lengthened yesterday with the news that Tom Huddlestone will join Jonathan Woodgate, Jamie O’Hara, Michael Dawson, Ledley King, Aaron Lennon and Robbie Keane on the sidelines.

But Redknapp will be pleased to see the return of his star forward after a few dour results, a loss to Bolton and a draw with Sunderland, since the Inter Milan victory.

Defoe is not certain to start in the North London derby this Saturday as Spurs target a win which could potentially send them into the top four.

But even if Defoe is to miss the game in which Spurs are 4/1 to beat Arsenal, the striker’s return is a huge boost as Spurs face games against Liverpool, Birmingham and Chelsea over the next three Premier League games.

Defoe last featured in Spurs 1-0 loss to Wigan at the end of August, and the diminutive striker will be chomping at the bit to link-up with Gareth Bale after the Welshman set the football world talking with his impressive displays in Europe.

With Bale in such tremendous form, it shouldn’t be too long until Defoe starts finding the net again and after scoring 18 goals last season, his best tally in the Premier League, Defoe will want to get the goals that push Spurs towards a Champions League place.

Arsenal are the 4/6 favourites to beat Spurs at the Emirates in the football betting, but home defeats to Newcastle and West Brom will give Spurs hope of registering their first win away to Arsenal since the 1992/93 season.

With Defoe missing so much action, Bale has overtaken his team-mate in the top scorers market and is 80/1 to finish with the golden boot. See the latest Barclays Premier League football betting odds market here.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.