Double FA Cup winners Arsenal are confident going into their third round home tie against Sunderland on 9 January, manager Arsene Wenger said. Wenger told a news conference at the Gunners training ground, that the cup is an important competition.
"We want to win every competition in which we participate and the FA Cup is one of them. For us it is an important competition and it's our next game, so that's important as well. The confidence is a global thing that you cannot really separate from one competition to the other and you want to feel as well that your team is ready for every single challenge and the FA Cup is one that matters to us," said the Frenchman.
Arsenal beat Sunderland 3-1 at home in the Premier League in December, but Wenger is wary of their dangerous breaks.
"We are confident because we know when we perform we can beat anybody in the Premier League, but we have learned as well this season that the Premier League is tricky. But you play at home in front of our crowd where we feel we can qualify. But we have learned against Sunderland that on the breaks they were very dangerous; it was a very hard-fought win against them," said the Gunners boss.
Arsenal are missing several players through injury, not least Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez.
"Yes, [he's] been in and out a little bit since the start of the season and I hope that he gets now consistent presence in the squad to perform again because we are going into one-off games where we need everybody available and hopefully [midfielder Tomas] Rosicky is not far away; [forward Danny] Welbeck maybe three weeks; so hopefully we'll get our players back," said Wenger, adding that the squad can make up for the absence of individuals.
"You compensate the absence of quality players with different styles. Sometimes more physical commitment; more solidarity because you are conscious that you have less individual potential to change the games and we could make up for it, but in the longer term it's always better that you have all your players available," he said.