Arsenal vs Sunderland team news: Jack Wilshere starts for the first time since ankle injury

The clash at The Emirates kicks off at 7.45pm

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The Independent Online

Jack Wilshere returns to the Arsenal line-up against Sunderland at the Emirates to make his first start since November as Arsene Wenger makes two changes to the side which has started the Gunners' last six fixtures.

Wilshere, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury for much of the season, replaces Francis Coquelin, while Kieran Gibbs comes in for Nacho Monreal. Alexis Sanchez makes his 50th appearance of a fine first season at the Emirates.

Adam Johnson returns for the visitors' only change to the side which drew 0-0 with Leicester on Saturday, replacing Liam Bridcutt, who misses out due to injury. Dick Advocaat sticks with a front three of Danny Graham, Jermaine Defoe and Connor Wickham, while Jack Rodwell returns to the bench after a hamstring problem.

A point tonight would be significant for both sides. It would all but secure the Gunners third place next season, and an automatic Champions League group stage spot, while it would guarantee the visitors' Premier League survival.

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

Subs: Szczesny, Gabriel, Monreal, Coquelin, Flamini, Rosicky, Walcott

Sunderland: Pantilimon, Jones, van Aanholt, O'Shea (c), Coates, Cattermole, Larsson, Johnson, Graham, Defoe, Wickham

Subs: Rodwell, Fletcher, Reveillere, Giaccherini, Vergini, Buckley, Mannone

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