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Sunderland Preview, Team News, Ozil’s Debut Delayed? Preferred XI & Prediction
Real football is back. After two weeks of torturous hell, we can get back to watching The Arsenal. Who actually enjoys the international’s anymore?!
Anyway, it’s been nearly two weeks since we dispatched Tottenham at the Emirates and unfortunately we’ve not been able to use that momentum to kick on. The squad has been boosted by the signing of a certain German super-star; Mesut Ozil. A truly world class player who will no doubt add to our impressive array of midfield talent.
The win over Spurs puts us fourth and we can move level on points with table-topping Liverpool with a win on Saturday ahead of their game with Swansea on Monday.
Sunderland away was a tense affair last season with Carl Jenkinson getting himself send off after Santi Cazorla had put us in control. Bacary Sagna was playing at centre-back and put in a superb display to marshall us to a 1-0 win and it seems the Frenchman will once again be asked to fill in this weekend. But more on that later.
Sunderland have looked poor so far this season and lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace last time out. If they defend against us like they did that day, we’ll have no trouble collecting the three points.
But will Di Canio have them fired up? You can bet your life on it. So we better be ready.
As per usual, the international break has taken it’s toll. Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey were all doubts after picking up slight knocks but Arsene says they are all fit to play. However, Tomas Rosicky is out after picking up a thigh problem in midweek and Yaya Sanogo injured his back while away with the French Under-21′s.
Ozil’s debut is likely to be delayed slightly after he picked up a bug and missed training on Friday. Word is he’s travelled with the squad and could still make an appearance, but it’s likely to be from the bench.
The German’s absence is likely to see Wilshere pushed up into the No.10 role with Mathieu Flamini coming in to make his first start since returning to the club. He looked sharp when he came on against Spurs, so I’ll be keen to see how he does if he starts.
Per Mertesacker is out as his illness means he’s been left at home, so Bacary Sagna is expected to start alongside Laurent Koscielny. Thomas Vermaelen has travelled but is likely to be on the bench as he’s not 100% fit yet.
Mikel Arteta, Lukas Podolaski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby are all still out.
We still have a strong starting eleven and even if Ozil doesn’t start, I think we’ll be too good for the Black Cats. Arsenal to win 1-0 again!
What’s your prediction for the game? Do you think Ozil will start?