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Martin O’Neill is convinced Arsenal are fully capable of winning this year’s FA Cup, despite the midweek 4-0 humbling at the hands of AC Milan.
O’Neill welcomes the Gunners to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on Saturday, with a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals the prize at stake. Arsenal won their recent league game at Sunderland, so the chance for revenge offers itself to the Black Cats.
Arsene Wenger reportedly attacked his players the day after their embarrassing night in Milan, so plenty of intrigue will surround how they respond this weekend.
O’Neill certainly was not in the mood to put the boot into Saturday’s opposition, avoiding several pointed questions designed to lure him into an attack on Arsenal. In the Ulsterman’s eyes, the Gunners will bounce back, but he hopes their renaissance will not begin until after the weekend’s game.
“If things go badly on the night, you can get beat pretty badly,” O’Neill said of Arsenal’s defeat to Milan. “Arsenal probably weren’t expecting it, but it’s something they’ve recovered from in the past. They’ve got too many good players.
“They beat us from behind last week, and Arsenal have shown their qualities throughout their time. They’ve qualified for the Champions League for the last 13 years or something like that.
“There’s no possibility of me criticising Arsenal. Regardless of the result on Wednesday I believe they’ll come here tomorrow feeling that they’re capable of winning the FA Cup.
“They inflicted misery on us last week, we have to reverse that. We’ve got the crowd behind us, we want to use any advantage that we have.”