Sunderland vs Arsenal: Premier League match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at the Stadium of Light

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The Independent Online

Sunderland host Arsenal at the Stadium of Light with last weekend’s nightmare 8-0 defeat to Southampton hanging over them.

The Black Cats were outclassed from start to finish in a demoralising game, so much so that the supporters who travelled down have been offered a refund on their tickets.

Gus Poyet was left embarrassed by the result and his team will need to be considerably more focused as they take on the Gunners on Saturday.

To help tighten up, Poyet has brought in defensive reinforcement with the signing of Anthony Reveillere, who spent last season in Serie A with Napoli, and the former French international could make his debut against the Gunners pending on International clearance.

Arsenal’s stuttering performances have seen them draw five times this season, more times than anyone else in the league except Sunderland who have also drawn five, but their late showing against Anderlecht in mid-week could prove a turning point as they look to find domestic consistency and close the gap on the top of the table, where Chelsea sit some 11 points above.

Arsene Wenger’s side are still without injured quartet Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Debuchy, but Theo Walcott, Serge Gnabry and Yaya Sanogo are all close to making full recoveries and could possibly make an appearance from the bench.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS...

Arsenal 4 (Giroud 2, Rosicky, Koscielny) Sunderland 1 (Giaccherini) Premier League, February 2014

Sunderland 1 (Gardner) Arsenal 3 (Giroud, Ramsey 2) Premier League September 2013

Sunderland 0 Arsenal 1 Cazorla) Premier League, February 2013                                                                                                                    

STATS...

Arsenal are unbeaten in five league games against Sunderland.

The Black cats have only managed one win in eight so far this season.

Both sides have drawn five league games, more than any other team.

ODDS...

Sunderland to win: 5.5

Arsenal to win: 1.62

Draw: 3.75

CLASSIC MOMENT/MATCH

Niall Quinn scored against his old club on the opening day of the season, helping Sunderland to pull off a shock 1-0 victory, back in 2000/01.

TV: highlights on BBC1 at 10.25pm

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