STEVEN Defour is relishing a midfield battle with Belgian buddie Mousa Dembélé at Turf Moor on Saturday as sixth plays seventh in the Premier League.

The international colleagues will go head-to-head in the middle of the park as Burnley seek to continue their fine season with a win that will secure them a top six spot at Christmas.

Defour is expecting a tough early evening against Dembélé, whose strength and power has appeared tailor-made for the Premier League since he moved to this country from AZ Alkmaar in 2010, spending a couple of years at Fulham before heading from west London to north London.

"It could be a difficult evening, Mousa is one of the strongest midfielders I’ve seen," Defour said of his 30-year-old countryman.

"Unfortunately he had some injuries with his ankle but if he stays fit he’s one of the best midfielders."

Dembélé is not the only Belgian in the Spurs ranks with Jan Vertonghen also set to start at Turf Moor, while Toby Alderweireld is out injured.

The quartet have already met up on international duty this season and Defour revealed Tottenham's Belgian contingent had expressed their surprise at Burnley's performances this season.

"In the beginning of the season they were a bit surprised because we moved up our game," the 29-year-old said. "Last year it was all about battling and trying to get some points.

"This year they’re saying we’re playing decent football also. It’s a big compliment, every time I went to the national team they were talking about Burnley so it’s nice to see."

The Belgian trio at Tottenham will be even more surprised now they find themselves one point and one place below the Clarets after 18 games of the season.

Burnley have lost just four times so far this term and claimed a 1-1 draw at Wembley back in August.

Defour admits he didn't see this coming at the start of the season but insists it can't be classed as luck now the halfway stage of the season is upon us.

"I’d be lying if I said I expected it," the former Porto man said. "We’re playing a good season, at this point there’s no luck involved or it’s not like a decent start, it’s consistency.

"We’re very happy about it. We always believe in our quality, this year we improved and we progressed and hopefully we can continue like this."