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Tuesday 17 October 2017

Eric Dier hopes to toast England call-up with north London derby win with Spurs

Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier received his first call-up to the England squad on Thursday
Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier received his first call-up to the England squad on Thursday

Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier is hoping to complete the perfect week by adding victory in the north London derby to his first England call-up.

The crunch visit to Arsenal on Sunday is Spurs' third game in six days, after Mauricio Pochettino's side recorded victories over Aston Villa on Monday and then Anderlecht on Thursday in the Europa League.

The Villa win stretched Tottenham's unbeaten run in the league to 10 matches while Arsenal's domestic form has also been strong, with the Gunners winning five on the spin and scoring 16 goals in the process.

"It's got everything - we're in great form, they're in great form," Dier told Tottenham's official website.

"Apart from their result against Bayern Munich they've been doing very well so they're a great team but we've been doing extremely well too.

"We like to play a very intense style of football and they like to attack. It'll be a good game to watch and hopefully we can be the ones enjoying it at the end."

Dier was named in Roy Hodgson's squad on Thursday for upcoming friendlies against France and Spain as reward for an excellent start to the campaign in which the 21-year-old has shone in his new position of centre midfield.

Used primarily at right-back and centre-half last season, Dier has quickly adjusted to his new role next to Dele Alli, who was also picked for England along with Spurs team-mates Kyle Walker and Harry Kane.

"I'm really thankful to the manager for trusting me and believing in me in that position," Dier said.

"Getting the England call-up was a very proud moment for me and my family. It's something you always dream of as a kid.

"Hopefully I can go there, enjoy myself and do well. It's always nice when you go with other boys from your club.

"That makes it easier and I know some of the lads there from younger age groups so I'm looking forward to it.

"I couldn't have imagined it to be honest. If you had told me this would happen when I was sitting on holiday I wouldn't have believed you."

Dier has been a key part in Tottenham tightening up their defence this season, with Pochettino's men conceding seven fewer goals than at the same stage last year.

"The defence has played a lot of games (together) from the beginning of the season," Pochettino said.

"The collective effort is important to help them - the keeper, the fullbacks, the midfielders.

"I think this season the balance is nearly perfect, but always we need to improve."

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