O'Neill expects reinvigorated Gunners

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Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill believes rivals Arsenal will have been "re-energised" rather than exhausted by their midweek triumph in Rome as the battle for a spot in next season's Champions League hots up.

O'Neill does not feel Villa have gained an advantage from the Gunners going through to the last eight of this season's competition - and still being involved in the FA Cup - while they have only the Barclays Premier League left to compete in.

O'Neill said: "Did Arsenal's exertions in mid-week help Villa? I didn't see it that way at all. I think Arsenal will be re-energised by the result more than anything else. It was a great boost for them."

He added: "With their players coming back from injury, they will have a pretty strong squad for the final few weeks of the season. Their squad is stronger than ours and they have been there before.

"Things are still in our own hands. We have a lot of tough fixtures in the immediate future, but we would still hope to be in a good position for the last six or seven games of the season."

O'Neill feels the Villa players have reaped the benefits of a five-day break in Dubai and are ready for the challenges ahead.

He said: "The break has done the players a world of good and I think they are all set for what is in effect a 10-game season.

"It is up to us. We have to try to get ourselves going again at Villa Park, try to win a match there, and we are capable of doing it."

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