Andre Villas-Boas predicts "passionate" North London derby

Tottenham Hotspur's Andre Villas-Boas during the Europa League match against Lyon on February 14, 2013
© PA Photos
Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas believes that the importance of Sunday's North London derby will ensure that the match is a "passionate" encounter.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas has declared that the atmosphere in Sunday's North London derby will be amplified by the importance of gaining a positive result.

Spurs moved four points clear of Arsenal last night by claiming a 3-2 victory over West Ham United in dramatic circumstances.

Villas-Boas believes that beating the Gunners at White Hart Lane this weekend will serve as a crucial step in securing Champions League football at the expense of their local rivals.

He told BBC Sport: "The North London derby is going to be very passionate, and if we can put Arsenal seven points away it will be a big step for us.

"We know we need a bigger gap than at the moment to keep them away. Nothing will be decided because anything can happen in this league but it will be important."

Spurs moved above Chelsea to third in the Premier League table with Gareth Bale's late winner against the Hammers.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce prior to kick-off against Aston Villa on February 10, 2013
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