Arsenal are set to host Sunderland in match week eight of the Premier League, on Sunday, October 16, 2011, at the Emirates; the result of the match could prove crucial to whether Gunners can get their campaign back on the rails. Wenger will look to the trio of Gervinho, Van Persie and Theo Walcott to provide the attacking thrust against the Black Cats.
Head to head, these teams have won one each of the last five games between them, with the other matches drawn. The last time they met was in March, 2011, at the same venue; that match ended in a goalless stalemate.
The Gunners have won three of their last five games, while losing the other two. Just one of those wins have come in the league, against Bolton, while both the losses, to Tottenham and Blackburn, have been registered in the EPL. Arsenal’s home record has been reasonably good with two wins and a loss in the three games hosted. Sunderland’s away record has been poor, with two draws and a loss, offering little consolation, to Steve Bruce’s wards.
Sunderland have been in poor form, having won just one of their last five games, all in the league, with two losses and two draws completing the tally. The losses came against Norwich and Chelsea, while the drawn matches were played with West Brom and Swansea; the solitary win was a 4-0 hammering of Stoke City.
Arsenal are currently in 15th place having earned 7 points from as many matches, while Sunderland are placed one rung below on the table, with 6 points from 7 games.
Ahead of the match, Koscielny and Djourou have recovered from injury and are available for selection. For Sunderland, Mignolet is likely to replace injured goalkeeper Gordon.
Arsenal are favourites to win this match, with home advantage and a ramshackle Sunderland defence likely to aid their cause in what is likely to be a high-scoring encounter.
Arsenal’s probable eleven: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Santos, Song, Arteta, Walcott, Ramsey, Gervinho, Van Persie
Sunderland’s probable eleven: Mignolet, O’Shea, Turner, Brown, Richardson, Cattermole, Gardner, Larsson, Sessegnon, El Mohamady, Ji
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.