Theo Walcott "can't wait" for the FA Cup third-round clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening.

The north London rivals will meet for the first time in the competition since the 2001 semi-final at Old Trafford when Arsenal won 2-1 with goals from Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires.

Walcott admits this game will be a difficult one to predict but feels home advantage could prove decisive.

Every time Tottenham come here or we go there, you want to put 100 per cent in

Theo Walcott

"For the neutrals it’s going to be a very interesting battle," he said. "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.

"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."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Isaac Moore 2 Jan 2014