Jack Wilshere believes the prospect of a north London derby makes every player naturally lift their intensity.
Arsenal host Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening for the first meeting between the sides in the FA Cup since the 2001 semi-final.
Wilshere is expecting a difficult game and admits the squad are desperate to get one over their rivals
"This is my favourite game of the season, I love these type of games"
"There's a lot of pride at stake," Wilshere told Arsenal Player. “The players know that, they feel the pressure as well so we'll be ready and we know they will be ready so we can't underestimate them.
"For some reason in these games every player just lifts their level. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because the fans expect to win - they don't want to lose.
"This is my favourite game of the season. I love these type of games. You just raise your level and you don't want to lose. When you're walking onto the pitch you're telling yourself, ‘We can't lose this, no matter what we can't lose’."
Tottenham have made an fine start to life under new manager Tim Sherwood and Wilshere thinks they have chosen the right man to replace Andre Villas-Boas.
“He's a good manager," he said. "He's young, he's worked with the under-21s at Tottenham and he's done a great job with them. He's going to bring young players in for Spurs.
"I think he's like a modern manager, he wants to get the ball down and pass it around. He was a great player himself as well as we know. He was a surprise choice for some but for me he was a great choice."
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