JOHN O’Shea feels Arsenal’s midweek trip to Milan may not have been quite as tiring as everyone on Wearside is hoping.
However, the Black Cats defender is still hopeful of heaping more misery on the under-fire Gunners today, convinced a repetition of Sunderland’s game plan from last weekend can this time pay dividends.
Much has been made about the fact that Arsenal are having to play their third game in a week and that their Wednesday night match involved flights to and from Italy.
But the former Manchester United man feels that while the travel and the travails of the AC Milan game will inevitably have had an impact on Arsene Wenger’s players, no one should expect that the Gunners will be on their last legs today.
“Arsenal have obviously had a game and we haven’t,” said O’Shea.
“But that won’t necessarily give us the upper hand because the teams in the Champions League have experienced squads to cope with all the matches.
“I’m sure whatever team Arsenal put out will be full of internationals and capable of causing us problems if we don’t perform to the level we know we can.”
O’Shea, though, is convinced Sunderland can cause Arsenal problems in the rematch and feels the effective counter-attacking style developed under Martin O’Neill can cause any side problems.
“We’ve nothing to be scared of and we’ll approach the game the same way we did last weekend,” he said.
“We’ll look to cause them problems on the break.
”We know we are more than capable of doing that – we just need to make sure we keep our concentration if and when we take the lead to see the game out this time.
“We’ve got to be positive and brave enough to keep the ball. If we do that, I’m sure we’ll cause them more problems on the break.”