Cameron Jerome ramps up pressure on Arsenal ahead of Carling Cup final

Birmingham striker Cameron Jerome believes Arsenal's lack of trophy success for the past five years will increase the pressure on them for Sunday's Carling Cup final.

Jerome accepts the Gunners will be favourites to triumph against Alex McLeish's side at Wembley.

But he is hoping Arsenal's recent lack of honours, plus their demanding programme in searching for silverware on four fronts this season, will take its toll.

Jerome said: "Will the lack of trophies put pressure on them? I think it is going to.

"They are overwhelming favourites and everyone is writing us off outside of our camp.

"That is going to add the pressure on them, and also them not winning a trophy for a while.

"They had a league game on Wednesday (against Stoke), have a narrow lead in the Champions League against Barcelona, and have also got an FA Cup replay.

"They are in a lot of competitions so hopefully we can catch them slipping."

Jerome, vying with Obafemi Martins and Nikola Zigic for a starting role, admitted: "They are going to have to be poor and we are going to have to be brilliant to get something. That's the nature of it really. Arsenal are a top side.

"But are their too many balls for Arsenal to juggle? Possibly. Definitely. I think Arsene Wenger would prefer to get a trophy.

"He is definitely going to go for it. It's a major cup final.

"But, with them having one eye on the Champions League, still being involved in the FA Cup and the league, maybe some of them will think in the back of their mind that the Barcelona game is more important then Birmingham.

"Hopefully they will get complacent and think they can just turn up to win comfortably."

Jerome is confident the ankle injury he suffered against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup will have healed in time for the final.

He said: "It is coming on all right to be honest. I have done a little bit of rehab, strengthening it, and it's about maintaining it and making sure I'm all right to train towards the end of the week.

"It's coming on okay. I would imagine I'll be fit for Sunday. Fingers crossed I'll be all right. It's just precautionary more than anything."

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