By Rob Kelly

Theo Walcott has joked that he is so excited about returning to Southampton that he will “wrap myself in bubble wrap” ahead of the game.

The Arsenal forward has been in superb form of late after being given his chance through the middle, and scored a hat trick against Newcastle on Saturday.

The 23-year-old is delighted with his form and he is relishing the chance to visit his former club on New Year’s Day.

“Looking at our Premier League form recently, it has been very strong,” Walcott told Arsenal Player. “We are looking to climb the table, take every game as it comes and we have another match on Tuesday.

“It will be a very tough occasion against Southampton, but it is one I am really looking forward to. I am probably going to wrap myself in bubble wrap for the next few days!

“It will be a very special moment for me and Alex [Oxlade-Chamberlain], and also for some of the fans to see us come back to the club.”

Walcott was almost unplayable at times in the 7-3 win against Newcastle, and he admits his confidence is sky high.

“It was just end to end and that played into our hands,” he said. “When we conceded a few sloppy goals you thought we may not be able to do it.

“If someone said beforehand that it would be 7-3 I would have just laughed, but it was an unbelievable spectacle and for it to be the last game of this year is something special.

“I am delighted [to get another hat trick]. For the first goal I managed to stay onside and Lukas played a great ball, and I opened up for the sort of finish that I am used to.

“The second one was a bit different. Out of all of the goals, that was probably the one I am most pleased with, as I had to turn in a short amount of time, not panic and put it into the top corner.

“The third was just like Chelsea [last season] what with falling over, getting up and chipping the keeper from such a tight angle. It was great, and me and Gibbo did something special [in celebration] after that!”

Watch the full interview with Theo on Arsenal Player now.

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 31 Dec 2012