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The 28-year-old has expressed his belief that victory in the north London derby will have a huge impact on both sides' chances of finishing in the top four this term

Arsenal attacker Santi Cazorla has underlined the importance of his side beating Tottenham on Sunday to keep their Champions League hopes alive.

The Gunners head into the north London derby at White Hart Lane in fifth place in the Premier League and four points behind their third-placed rivals.

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Arsenal have never failed to finish in the top four under manager Arsene Wenger and, with the club's trophy drought likely to stretch to eight years this term, Cazorla has insisted they must not fail to qualify for Europe's premier cup competition.

"We know how important it is and I hope we can rise to the challenge," the former Malaga man told reporters.

"To beat them and get into the top four and the Champions League, which is our aim for the season, is essential.

"It is very important, not just because it is a great rivalry or that it is Tottenham versus Arsenal but the fact that they are a side with great players who are fighting with us for a top-four spot."

The Gunners were 5-2 winners in the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium earlier this season, with Cazorla amongst the scorers for the hosts.

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