It's a bad time to face us: Walcott warns Spurs

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has warned resurgent arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur they are travelling across North London for their eagerly-anticipated FA Cup third round tie at a bad time.

The two sides meet on Saturday at the Emirates with Spurs in a rich vein of form having collected 10 points from a possible 12 in the English Premier League since Tim Sherwood replaced Andre Villas Boas as manager last month.

But Walcott has scored five goals in his last five games as Arsenal returned to the top of the table after a brief slip at Christmas and the England international went on the offensive when asked if it was bad time to play Sherwood’s in-form Spurs.

“It's going to be a bad time to play us as well,” he said in quotes carried by British media on Friday.

“For the neutrals, it's going to be a very interesting battle. I can't call it. It's one of those games that's going to be very open. The FA Cup is always special for me, being English. I love the FA Cup.

“Since their new appointment, Tottenham have done very well, to be fair to them. But like I say, they won't want to play us. And it's at The Emirates. We're trying to make our stadium into a fortress and we are starting to do that.

“The first fixture I always look at is Tottenham. Every time Tottenham come here or we go there, you want to put 100 percent in. These are massive games.”

Walcott started the last time the two sides met, a 1-0 league victory for Arsenal in September where Villas Boas’ side pushed hard for an equaliser in the second half but could not find a way through.

Goals, though, have not been a problem for Spurs under Sherwood, with nine coming in league wins over Manchester United, Southampton and Stoke City.

Arsenal had attacking trouble against Cardiff City on Wednesday with the Welsh side proving resolute before substitute Nicklas Bendtner lashed home a late goal at the Emirates and Walcott making it 2-0 minutes later.

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