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Walcott: Gunners Still Derby Favourites

Arsenal star Theo Walcott says the Gunners need not fear Tottenham Hotspur’s lavish spending when the Big Smoke rivals meet at the Emirates on Sunday.

There is bad blood between the North London neighbours, and this season’s first derby is shaping up to be a cracker.

Spurs are unbeaten in two league games, while Arsenal have bounced back from their shock opening day home defeat to Aston Villa impressively.

Spurs want revenge after Arsenal pipped them to the last Champions League qualification position last season. And the Gunners, fresh from securing their progression to the group stage of the UCL for the 16th successive time, are out to prove they’re still top dogs in their corner of England’s capital.

To affect their revenge, Spurs have been on a transfer window shopping spree, which has seen them sign five top-quality players to the value of £90million.

Their manager, Andre Villas-Boas, admitted on Wednesday that they would soon be banking a world record transfer fee with Gareth Bale’s sale to Real Madrid.

But he softened the blow of the Welshman’s departure with the immediate capture of highly-rated young Argentine international, Erik Lamela, from Roma.

Lamela follows Roberto Soldalo, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue into White Hart Lane, with rumours that talented Danish international schemer, Christian Eriksen, could be next.

In contrast to Spurs’ owning of the transfer market, thanks to their Bale ballooned bank balance, Arsenal have thus far endured a transfer window to forget.

Highly-publicised moves for players like Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez have fallen by the wayside. And only little-known, young French striker, Yaya Sanogo, has arrived to beef up their squad in need of quality reinforcements.

Yet despite the doom and gloom that beset the Emirates in the first few days of the season, the Gunners are on the up.

And their England winger Walcott insists that regardless of Tottenham’s new recruits, Arsenal are still poised to rule the roost in London after Sunday’s mouth-watering derby.

"Not at all. I feel we're very, very strong," Walcott said in the British media, when asked if Arsenal were approaching the derby from an uncommon position of weakness.

"Everyone makes out our squad is very weak and there are not many of us, but we showed in the last few games that we can bounce back from a bad result, proving a lot of people wrong.

"Every club is different and Tottenham invested their money very well. For us players we just want to do a job on Sunday, we don't care if they have brought in £30million stars."

What is your prediction for the first Gunners-Spurs derby of the season? Click here to tell us.

Wenger: Walcott Deal Very Soon

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