Struggling Sunderland Host 2nd Place Arsenal at the Stadium of Light

Last updated: October 26, 2016 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 12:30pm
Venue: Stadium of Light
Coverage: SKy Sports 1
Home form: LLDLL
Away form: WWDLL
Last season: Arsenal 3 – 1 Sunderland
Competition: The Premier League

Things keep going from bad to worse for Sunderland as we approach week 10 of this year’s Premier League campaign. The Black Cats failed to register their first win of the season last week on the road against West Ham in a game that produced a dramatic 94th minute flourish. This weekend they face a mammoth task as they host an Arsenal side that look set to mount a real challenge for the title this year.

Sunderland were sent out of the EFL Cup in the 4th round on Wednesday night after a fantastic finish by Southampton’s record signing Sofiane Boufa. Yes, you could argue that the Black Cats were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty in the final stages of the game, however they only managed 2 shots on target compared to Southampton’s 1 and enjoyed only 43% of the possession – matters were made worse when Moyes was sent to the stands in the 90th minute for swearing at the fourth official. It’s clear that emotions and tempers are close to a breaking point in the Sunderland camp. Moyes is really starting to feel the pressure and the players simply aren’t producing the goods. Things aren’t looking good ahead of this weekend as they go into the match having not won in the Premier League since May.

Arsenal on the other hand are firing in all cylinders. They slipped up earlier in the week as they took on Middlesbrough at The Emirates in a game that ended 0-0. Nevertheless, they remain unbeaten since the first week of the season and they are currently joint second place in the goal leader board with 19 goals from 9 games compared to Sunderland’s 6 – few would bet against Sunderland toppling the Gunners on Saturday afternoon.

Team News

Sunderland’s miserable run this season continued as they crashed out of the EFL Cup on Wednesday evening. In what was a pretty poor game by all accounts, David Moyes’ frustration boiled over after what seemed a blatant penalty was waved off by referee Chris Kavanagh. Moyes was reduced to spending the last part of the game in the stands after swearing at the fourth offical.

Lee Cattermole, Jason Denayer and Sebastian Larsson will all miss this weekend’s home fixture against. There is still no news on how long Larsson’s knock is expected to keep him out and Denayer and Cattermole still need more time to recover from their respective thigh and back injuries.

Santiago Cazorla is back fit from his achilles injury. The Spanish midfielder sustained the injury during the Champions League fixture against Ludogrets and has missed the last 2 games against Middlesborough and Reading. He is however expected to be fit enough to travel to the Stadium of Light for Saturday afternoon’s fixture.

It seems as though Aaron Ramsey will have to wait a little longer before he makes a full return from his 10-week injury absence. He has recovered from the Hamstring injury he sustained in the opening game of the season against Liverpool however he is still not back to full match fitness.

Expected line-ups:

Arsneal (4-2-3-1): Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez
Subs: Gibbs, Paulista, Perez, Fletcher, Iwobi, Elneny, Ospina
Injured: Mertesacker, Xhaka, Welbeck, Akpom
Doubtful: Ramsey
Not available: –
Sunderland (4-5-1): Pickford, Manquillo, O’Shea, Kone, van Aanholt, Watmore, Rodwell, Ndong, Pienaar, Khazri, Defoe
Subs: Jones, Djilobodji, Mika, McNair, Anichebe, Honeyman, Gooch
Injured: Borini, Larsson, Cattermole, Denayer, Kirchhoff, Januzaj
Not available: –

So far this season

. . .
Sunderland this season Arsenal this season
20th League Position 2nd
0 (0) (at home) Wins (away) 6 (3)
Biggest win 4-1 vs. Burnley
2 (1) (at home) Draws (away) 2 (0)
3-0 vs. Everton Biggest Defeat 4-3 vs. Liverpool
Jermain Defoe (4) Top scorer Theo Walcott (5)
Jack Rodwell, Duncan Watmore (1) Assist Leader Alex Iwobi (3)
Y18, R0 Discipline Y11, R1
4 Failures to score 2
0 Clean Sheets 4
5 Both Teams to Score Games 5
5 Over 2.5 Games 6
4 Under 2.5 Games 3
  • Sunderland still haven’t recorded a victory in this season’s Premier League campaign. They are currently on 7 losses from 9 games and have only managed 2 draws – one of which was at home.
  • Apart from just falling short to Liverpool in what was a real 4 goals to 3 thriller on the opening day of the season, Arsenal haven’t lost in the Premier League since. They are currently joined top of the goals table with Manchester City with 20.
  • Rather unsuprisingly, Sunderland haven’t kept a single clean sheet in any of their domestic fixtures so far. They’ve also failed to score a goal in 4 of their 9 games and have only managed 86 shots in total.
  • Arsenal’s discipline has been noteworthy this season. They are currently joined 1st place with Leicester City for having the least amount of bookings from all nine games. They’ve accumulated 11 yellow cards and have suffered just 1 sending off.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
24/04/2016 Premier League Sunderland 0 – 0 Arsenal
09/01/2016 FA Cup Arsenal 3 – 1 Sunderland Lens, Jeremain 17′
05/12/2015 Premier League Arsenal 3 – 1 Sunderland Campbell, Joel 33′
20/05/2015 Premier League Arsenal 0 – 0 Sunderland
25/10/2014 Premier League Sunderland 0 – 2 Arsenal A. Sanchez 30′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Sunderland go into this game still in search of their first victory of the season and not having beaten The Arsenal since February in 2012. The bookmakers have Arsenal down as clear favourites and the current form of Wenger’s side suggests that they’re right. Try placing a bet with Arsenal to win with a -1 handicap to get some extra value or opt for an Arsenal win with a clean sheet. Good value odds are currently showing at Coral.