For a side that has lost four successive Premier League games and has an eye-watering injury list, a trip to the Emirates, a venue where they have never won a league game, is not a prospect to savour.
Steve Bruce has called on his depleted Sunderland side to show "resilience" this afternoon, but also take heart from performances in north London this season by the likes of West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle.
They both snatched surprise wins at Arsenal, as have Tottenham this season. Bruce said: "It doesn't happen very often at the Emirates, but teams have won there, so we have got to make sure we go and produce a performance and see where it takes us."
Goalkeeper Craig Gordon is the latest injury concern for Bruce. He is heading for Sweden to consult a specialist on Monday over his niggling knee problem. Bruce said: "The thing you look for is that resilience to get you out of it. We have got to try to get over the next two or three games and get over March if we can.
"I don't think I have been involved in anything like now when we have got nine [injured] – and probably six of them have been out for three months or more, and some of them have been out for six months, which is cruel, it really, really is." That list of casualties has piled the pressure on Bruce's remaining fit players, and he admits that it is starting to tell.
Bruce said: "There have been times over the last month or so when I have known I have needed to freshen it up and change it around. At the moment, we can't do that, so we have to knuckle down and get on with it and hope we can get out of this run we are in."Reuse content