Sunderland’s Larsson eyes FA Cup role-reversal against Arsenal

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SEB Larsson believes Sunderland should have the upper hand in next Saturday’s clash with Arsenal, when the roles are reversed against Arsene Wenger’s men.

Larsson admits the exertions from Sunderland’s midweek extra-time victory at Middlesbrough took their toll in the finale of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat after substitute Aaron Ramsey equalised for the Gunners just five minutes after James McClean’s opener for the hosts.

But with Sunderland now having a week of recovery and Arsenal heading to AC Milan on Wednesday in the last 16 of the Champions League, Larsson hopes Sunderland can make the most of renewed energy levels.

“We can’t guess their team for Saturday, but hopefully we’ll feel fresher than we did at the weekend,” added the 26-year-old. “I don’t think it really affected us until the last 10 minutes, but that’s when games are won and lost.

“We were fine for long periods of the game. Personally I felt okay.

“We sat back a bit, let them have the ball and tried to hit them on the break.

“If we had been a bit more careful with final balls, then we would have caused them a lot of problems.

“They got back level quite quickly after we got in front and from then, we looked tired.

“We would probably have settled for a draw then and you could see when we got the ball, there were no real forward runs like there were earlier on in the game.

“The winner was probably the one real chance they created all game.”

H If Saturday’s game is drawn, the replay at the Emirates is scheduled for a week tomorrow, but could change depending on television demands.