Sunderland front-man Darren Bent is confident the Black Cats can upset the odds when they welcome high-flying Arsenal to the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger’s men have begun the league season in tremendous fashion and travel to Wearside full of confidence following four successive victories in all competitions – scoring 13 goals in the process.
However, Sunderland will fancy their chances on their own patch, where they have been equally prolific.
Steve Bruce's side have netted 12 times in their last four games and are unbeaten in their last five since a 3-1 defeat to leaders Chelsea in August.
And Bent – who leads the club’s goalscoring charts with eight – is optimistic Sunderland can give the Gunners a tough test.
“We have done well at home,” he said in the Daily Mirror.
“We have only lost at home to Chelsea and if we play like we can do, not too many teams can live with us.
“Liverpool found out a few weeks ago, and West Ham found out what we are all about when we were down to 10 men and came back.”
Bent did admit, however, that Arsenal will be a different challenge altogether and believes the current crop that Wenger has at his disposal reminds him of their 'Invincible' side of six years ago.
Arsenal went unbeaten throughout the 2003/04 campaign and the 25-year-old believes they could prove to be serious title contenders again this time around.
“They are on top, top form,” he added. “They keep scoring four a game, which is unheard of.
“That is like the Arsenal of a few years back and the likes of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Freddy Ljungberg and Dennis Bergkamp. They were giving people beatings of four and five regularly.
“It is going to be a tough game against Arsenal. They were written off for the title at the start of the season but they have shown they mean business.”
Bent’s fine start to the campaign in front of goal was rewarded with a place in Fabio Capello’s squad for the Three Lions’ recent friendly with Brazil in Doha.
And the former Spurs striker revealed he was delighted to be able to pit his wits against one of the greatest footballing nations ahead of next summer’s World Cup.
“It was nice to get back in the squad and play against Brazil,” he said.
“It is every player’s dream to play for their country, but to play against a team of the calibre of Brazil was special.
“Playing against Brazil was a spectacle. You don’t realise how good they are until you play against them.
“For me, Kaka was fantastic. Luis Fabiano was brilliant. They are top players and you see why they play for the likes of Real Madrid.”comments