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Sunderland vs Arsenal: Team News, Likely Line-up & Predicted Score

Arsenal start what is a season defining period with a trip to in-form Sunderland on Saturday. Here is team news, likely line-ups and predicted score for the game

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Arsenal start what is a season defining period with a trip to in-form Sunderland on Saturday.

The home side came through a gruelling extra-time victory over Middlesborough on Wednesday night to secure a fifth round FA Cup tie against Arsenal, so we’ll be back to the Stadium of Light next weekend.

Arsenal will be hoping the Black Cats are knackered after the midweek encounter and we could just have a slight edge because of that. Although, Martin O’Neill has never been one for letting his players take their foot off the gas, and he’s a fantastic motivator.

O’Neill has worked absolute wonders so far at Sunderland. They are bang in form and make no mistake, it’s going to be a tough task to take home three points from this one, but Arsene Wenger’s men will be buoyant following last weeks 7-1 win over Blackburn.

Team News

Arsenal welcome back Kieran Gibbs to the squad after a long injury lay-off, and Wenger could give him some game-time ahead of Wednesday’s clash with AC Milan.

If Gibbs does come in, it’s likely Mertesacker will drop to the bench. Sagna should also return after being rested last weekend, so the Gunners could field their first choice back four for the first time in months.

I have the feeling Arsene may rest Chamberlain for this one with one eye on Milan. The boss has stressed the need to be cautious in not over-playing young AOC, so i wouldn’t be surprised to see Rosicky move over to the left with Ramsey coming back into the middle.

There is also rumours that Van Persie may be rested but that would be suicide in my opinion.

Sunderland have loan signings Wayne Bridge and Sotirios Kyrgiakos back in their squad for the game after being ineligible for the midweek cup tie.

Stephane Sessegnon is a slight doubt after picking up a knock against Boro but is likely to start. Matt Killgallon has returned to training but is not yet match fit, and all other injury concerns remain out. So O’Neill is likely to name an unchanged line-up.

Likely Line-ups

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Predicted Score

This is a tough one to call. Arsenal come off the back of a morale-boosting 7-1 demolition of Blackburn while Sunderland may be feeling the effects of a tough game in midweek, so the signs suggest Arsenal could sneak this one. I’m hoping for a 2-1 win for Arsenal.

What are your thought for the game? Please leave your opinions in the comments section below…

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