‘We’re the underdogs but we have to believe’

Arsene Wenger speaks to his team during the 2017 FA Cup semi-final
Arsene Wenger speaks to his team during the 2017 FA Cup semi-final

Are we underdogs on Sunday? A quick glance at the Premier League table gives a pretty conclusive answer.

Manchester City are 27 points ahead of us and, unless there’s a major collapse between now and May, they will be crowned as champions.

But the Emirates FA Cup is out of City’s reach after a surprise defeat to Wigan Athletic on Monday, and Arsene Wenger believes we can administer another shock in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

“Because Manchester City are dominating the league, that is in the head of everybody and so maybe we are more underdogs than in the FA Cup semi-final last year,” said Wenger.

“So I agree that we are maybe underdogs, but we have to believe in our quality. The history, the fact we have done it before [against Man City last year], shows you ‘why not do it again?’.

“You must have enough belief to think you can do it, that on the day you manage to turn up with the right spirit and the right mentality, the right belief.

“In the final, everyone says you have to be motivated, but it is as well about finding the right balance between focus, motivation and being relaxed enough to play our game.

“That will be the target again: to have a belief but as well to find that right balance.”

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