By Chris Harris
Thomas Vermaelen is bracing himself for a tough encounter with Andy Carroll on Saturday.
The Arsenal captain is likely to come face to face with West Ham's on-loan striker at Upton Park and he has happy memories of Carroll after coming out on top in their last battle.
Vermaelen knows what to expect this weekend and he is determined to help Arsenal play their normal game in the heat of a London derby.
"I played against Andy Carroll when he played for Liverpool," Vermaelen told Arsenal Player.
"He suits their way of playing at the moment. At West Ham they play some long balls and with Carroll up front, he’s a tall guy. He’s good with his head so he will be a big challenge.
"But we always want to play our own game as Arsenal. First we have to match them in the fight. If there’s a long ball, we want to fight for that ball and bring the ball down as quickly as possible and play our own game.
"I’ve played at Upton Park a few times in the past and I must say I like the stadium and the atmosphere there, so it’s quite nice to go there and play again.
"We go into every game to get the three points, and especially after the defeat against Chelsea. We want to get the win because that’s really important if you look at the ranking at the table."
Watch the full interview with Thomas on Arsenal Player.