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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Bale confident ahead of cup tie

Gareth Bale insists Tottenham will overcome Chelsea in this weekend's FA Cup semi-final because they have a better team than the Blues.

• King calls for clear-the-air talks

Tottenham's Premier League form sunk to an alarming new low on Monday when they suffered a 2-1 defeat to top-flight new boys Norwich.

The Canaries played brilliantly at White Hart Lane, but the way in which Spurs ran out of answers going forward, and the way they looked creaky at the back, raised serious questions about their chances of qualifying for next year's Champions League.

Spurs have now one just once in their last eight league games, and face the big task of beating Chelsea on Sunday to reach next month's FA Cup final.

Spurs have not won the FA Cup in 21 years but lead the Blues by two points and edged a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge last month - something Bale believes is evidence that his side will vanquish their neighbours at Wembley this weekend.

The Welshman told Spurs TV Online: "Obviously we've got difficult opposition in Chelsea. They're a great side, have done really well in the Champions League and it won't be easy, but I think if we are on our game on the day, then we can reach the final because I feel we have the better team.

"We played very well at Stamford Bridge recently, it ended goalless but we had the better chances on the day and we probably should have won the game. That will give us plenty of confidence going into this match."

Sunday's game, which kicks off at 6pm, is the second time in two years that Spurs have played a competitive game at Wembley having reached the semi-final of the competition in 2010.

That day ended in heartbreak for the Londoners as they suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to Portsmouth, who finished that season at the bottom of the league having entered administration.

Bale, who started that game at left-back, is confident his team will not suffer the same fate this weekend.

He added: "We let ourselves down against Portsmouth two years ago. We didn't play well and that was a tough defeat to take, but we've got another chance to reach the FA Cup final and we're determined not to let it slip by this time."

Tottenham captain Ledley King called his players together at the club's training ground on Tuesday in an attempt to resolve the problems that have caused the club's recent blip, and Bale hopes the Norwich result has now been forgotten.

"Monday was disappointing, but we're all looking forward to Wembley now," he added. "We just need to get on with it and move on.

"It's not every day that you play at Wembley in the semi-final of the FA Cup, especially in a London derby, so that will be great for the atmosphere. It's a fantastic occasion to look forward to and, hopefully, we've some history to make."

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