Premier League: Sunderland v Arsenal match preview
A look ahead to this weekend’s Premier League fixture at the Stadium of Light
Arsene Wenger will welcome back Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott when Arsenal travel to face Sunderland on Saturday, following their midweek Wembley triumph over Brazil, with the former taking the plaudits in a man-of-the-match display. Wilshere excelled in the English midfield, giving hope to the nation that perhaps England can play attacking, possession football.
The Gunners will look to continue their push for a top four spot, in a game against a Sunderland side that will still be hurting following a late winner last week from Jimmy Kebe that consigned them to a 2-1 defeat. The Black Cats will look to Lee Cattermole and Carlos Cueller to sturdy the side, as both may return from injury this weekend. Their inconsistent form throughout the season leaves them in 12th, despite striker Steven Fletcher impressing with 10 goals already this campaign.
Wenger should welcome back captain Thomas Vermaelen, who missed the 1-0 home victory over Stoke last Saturday, while French striker Olivier Giroud will look to continue his rich vein of form, having scored five in his last four outings for the London side. Despite the two clubs playing out a 0-0 draw on the opening day of the season, Martin O’Neill’s side will need to be on song if they wish to take something from the game.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm.
Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0, Premier League, August 2012
Sunderland 2 (Richardson, Oxlade-Chamberlain own-goal) Arsenal 0, FA Cup, February 2012
Sunderland 1 (McClean) Arsenal 2 (Ramsey, Henry), Premier League, February 2012
Arsenal have not lost to Sunderland in the league since November 2009. (1-0)
Arsenal have not failed to score since their 2-0 defeat to Man City on January 13, 7 games ago.
3 Arsenal players have scored over 10 goals this season – Walcott has 18, Giroud has 14 and Podolski has 12, compared to Sunderland’s one – Steven Fletcher has 10.
Sunderland have only won two league games consecutively once this season – December against Southampton and Man City.
Sunderland’s Craig Gardener is the most booked player this season, with 8 yellow cards.
Sunderland to win: 4.5
Arsenal to win: 1.93
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.20pm.
Latest in Sport
The Prince of Wales Stakes today is regarded by many as the No1 race of the Royal Ascot meeting and ...
by Gareth Purnell
19 June 2013 02:01 AM
Today’s St James Palace looks a cracker and there has been sustained money for Dawn Approach since t...
by Gareth Purnell
18 June 2013 02:01 AM
Newcastle don’t need a football director – they need a new medical team after finishing bottom of the injury league
Newcastle United have shocked their fans by appointing Joe Kinnear as director of football but new f...
by Alex Miller
17 June 2013 04:39 PM
ACT Brumbies v British and Irish Lions - player ratings
Liverpool close in on £6m Spanish winger Luis Alberto
In pictures: Royal Ascot 2013 - Opening day
Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo advised to stay at Real Madrid for further 18 months before making possible switch to Manchester United
Italy Under-21s 2 Spain Under-21s 4 match report: Thiago Alcantara's hat-trick seals European Championship for Spanish youngsters
- 1 Diary of Second World War German teenager reveals young lives untroubled by Nazi Holocaust in wartime Berlin
- 2 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 3 Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender's secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed
- 4 Viral video straps colt .45 handgun to a home-use drone
- 5 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf