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Tottenham Midfielder Paulinho Relishing Chelsea Clash

Brazilian looking forward to facing countrymen in London derby.

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Tottenham Hotspur new boy Paulinho has said that he will put friendships to one side when he comes up against some of his international colleagues in the game against Chelsea this weekend, Sky Sports reports.

Paulinho is set to face fellow countrymen Oscar, David Luiz, Willian and Ramires when Chelsea travel to White Hart Lane for an eagerly awaited London derby this weekend.

The former Corinthians man said that the game is causing quite a stir in his homeland as several Selecao stars will be on display and he feels that the game will give the side a good opportunity to prove their title credentials.

“There is a level of affection there, a friendship between us all,” Paulinho said. “But when we step onto the field of play we are there to defend ourselves and defend our team so I will be there fighting for Tottenham Hotspur.

“It’s a big match here in London, and in Brazil, where many people will watch, and it’s important for us, as a stepping stone also to win more games.

“We faced Arsenal and did not get the result we wanted [a 1-0 defeat]. But we are going down the right path so it’s great to have this opportunity to play against Chelsea in order to prove our level.

“Within the club we know our ability and this will start with this match against Chelsea.”

Spurs currently lie in second place in the Premier League table and Paulinho admitted that Andre Villas-Boas’ men will be challenging for honours this season.

“The main challenge that he put forward was qualifying for the Champions League and fighting for the Premier League,” he added.

“After that there are the cups – either in England or in Europe.

“Tottenham are a team that is going to enter these competitions to win them. Step by step we are reaching that level.”

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