Chamakh keen to play in derby

Arsenal striker Maroune Chamakh has stated his desire to play in his first North London derby, ahead of the the Carling Cup clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday evening.

The Gunners make the short trip to White Hart Lane for the third round tie and Chamakh is desparate to lead the line, despite Wenger previously using the competition to run the rule over his up-and-coming youngsters.

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But with injuries to Robin van Persie, Nicholas Bendtner and Theo Walcott, the Arsenal boss is left with Carlos Vela and Chamakh as his only senior strikers to chose from and the French-born Moroccan is itching to play.

"I have spoken to the French players here like Gael Clichy and they told me that the atmosphere against Tottenham is hot, very hot - in fact they say it's boiling!" Chamakh told to Sky Sports.

"And in the absence of the other players, if the coach wants me to play I will do so willingly. I know the importance of the match against Tottenham. It is important for the players and for the supporters to win.

"I do not know yet if I am playing but if I am picked I am happy to do so. I understand that over the years the manager has picked young players for this competition but with the number of players we have injured maybe I will play."

Chamakh admits that his previous experience of local derbies is limited but, after playing in big games for his former club Bordeaux, he believes he is up to the challenge.

"The nearest we had to a derby game when I was at Bordeaux was against Toulouse and it was also a big atmosphere when we played against Marseille.

"But they have told me that Arsenal and Tottenham is a huge game with a fantastic atmosphere. I love that kind of game."

By James Martini

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