Sunderland vs Arsenal Preview: Team News, Likely Line-Ups & Predicted Score
Arsenal take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon. Here is a preview for the game with team news, likely line-ups and predicted score.
Arsenal get back to Premier League action as the take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon.
The Gunners went into the international break in high spirits following a 1-0 victory over north London rivals Tottenham which came after an impressive 3-1 away win over Fulham, so they should be going into the weekends action full of confidence.
The Arsenal camp has been further boosted by the arrival of German super-star Mesut Ozil following his £42.5m arrival from Real Madrid on deadline day. The playmaker was expected to make his debut this weekend but he may have to wait after being struck down with illness on Friday.
Arsenal won this fixture 1-0 last season despite being reduced to 10-men early in the second half following the dismissal of Carl Jenkinson, and Arsene Wenger will hope for another resolute performance this time around.
Wenger has little option but to stick with the majority of the side that beat Spurs, although I’m sure he’d have hoped to rotate a little bit with Wednesday’s trip to Marseille in mind.
Sunderland are sitting joint bottom of the Premier League and lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace last time out so boss Paolo Di Canio will demand a response against the Gunners.
Mesut Ozil is expected to start from the bench having missed training on Friday through illness. Defender Per Mertesacker is definitely out with his own bout of illness so Bacary Sagna is expected to play in the middle with Carl Jenkinson at right-back.
Captain Thomas Vermaelen has travelled with the squad but isn’t 100% fit yet, and Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott will both start despite picking up knocks while away with England.
Tomas Rosicky is out after picking up a thigh injury in midweek so Mathieu Flamini could come in to midfield having impressed during his second half appearance against Spurs.
Striker Yaya Sanogo is out with a back injury and he joins Mikel Arteta, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby on the sidelines.
Sunderland are likely to hand Fabio Borini his debut after his signing from Liverpool on deadline day. The Italian could partner Steven Fletcher in attack after the striker came off the bench to score at Palace.
Jack Colback is expected to retain his place despite the arrival of Andrea Dossena, but John O’Shea is missing after being sent off last time out.
Sunderland 0-2 Arsenal: Despite Arsenal injury worries, they should have too much for a struggling Sunderland to deal with.
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