Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal can retain the FA Cup

Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal are "one of the favourites" to win the FA Cup after the Gunners bucked the trend of fourth-round shocks at Brighton.

Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Tomas Rosicky scored as Arsenal edged out Brighton 3-2 at the Amex Stadium, heeding the warnings of fourth-round defeats for Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham on Saturday.

Chris O'Grady and Sam Baldock struck as Chris Hughton's side worried the holders, but manager Wenger was sat isfied with his team's effort.

"Look, I am on the other side of the game: you always want to know what will happen, and I always have to stop people from thinking what will happen, because nobody knows what will happen really," said Wenger.

"But we'll be one of the favourites, because I think Man United might go through and some of the other Premier League sides will go through.

"We'll be among these teams but you cannot predict who will win it.

"With yesterday's results you would be a bit cautious (about being favourites), the cup is the cup and what you want is the focus on the next round and to go through.

"We have good experience from last season to know that every round is different and the most difficult games were not especially the most expected ones last season.

"So let's wait for the (fifth round) draw. Of course we fight and we want to retain our cup, but it's too long to go to say that."

Wenger confirmed Arsenal's deal to bring Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista to the Emirates is "on the line", with the French manager expecting the formalities to be completed today.

"It's on the line, and nearly (done). I think it will get over the line tonight and tomorrow," he added.

Wenger admitted he has never been blessed with such an array of fit and in-form attacking talents approaching the business end of a season at Arsenal.

The long-serving Gunners boss hailed the form of fit-again duo Walcott and Germany star Ozil, praising Czech midfielder Rosicky's influence too.

Chelsea's 4-2 home defeat to Bradford and Manchester City's 2-0 home loss to Middlesbrough have left the FA Cup draw wide open.



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