Walcott relishing FA Cup derby showdown with Tottenham

The Arsenal winger wants to turn the Emirates Stadium into a fortress ahead of Saturday's third-round meeting and insists he "can't wait" for the clash
Arsenal winger Theo Walcott is raring to face Tottenham in Saturday's crunch FA Cup third-round meeting.

The two sides go head-to-head at the Emirates Stadium with the Gunners firing on all cylinders in the league having maintained their position at the top of the table following Wednesday's 2-0 win over Cardiff.

Spurs have only won once at the home of their north London rivals since 1993 although Walcott is expecting a close encounter when the two sides face off this weekend.

"For the neutrals it’s going to be a very interesting battle," he told the club's official website. "It’s one of those games that’s going to be very open, I’m pretty sure of that.

"The first fixture I always look at is Tottenham. Every time Tottenham come here or we go there, you want to put 100 per cent in, and more if you can.

"It’s at the Emirates, we’re trying to make our stadium into a fortress and we are starting to do that."

Walcott believes that the squad that work hardest will come out with the win on Saturday and has urged his team-mates to be fully prepared, with Tim Sherwood's side buoyed following their 2-1 win at Manchester United on New Year's Day.

The England star added: "These are massive games, the games that everyone wants to be part of. We’ve had a busy festive period going into the New Year and everyone needs to recover well which we have been doing. Hopefully players can come back but [for] Tottenham, we’ve got to be right up for that. I can’t wait for that game.

"Hard work will decide it. If everyone’s doing their jobs right and working hard for each other - that's what it comes down to in the end.

"We have that trust in the dressing room. Everyone trusts each other and when you have that you’re going to build on that and go from strength to strength."