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Preview: Arsenal v Sunderland, team news, line-up & prediction
Arsenal need to get back to winning ways when we entertain Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow.
We’ve seen our title challenge dented by a poor run of results in November that saw us pick up just two points from three league games, the latest of which came with a 1-1 draw at Norwich last weekend.
That result has left us sitting fourth in the Premier League table but thankfully we’re still just two points off leaders Manchester City so we’re still well within touching distance at the top.
It’s time to put the bad results and injury problems behind us and concentrate on winning games again, and Sunderland at home represents an excellent opportunity to pick up a much-needed three points.
However, the Black Cats arrive in the capital sitting outside of the bottom three after beating Stoke last weekend and Sam Allardyce has them well organised, and we know how much he likes to get one over Wenger, so I’m expecting a tough match tomorrow.
It’s been another devastating week on the injury front with Cazorla set to miss at least three months after damaging knee ligaments at Norwich while Sanchez is also facing a spell on the sidelines after being forced off with a hamstring injury at Carrow Road.
The duo join Coquelin, Wilshere, Welbeck, Arteta and Rosicky on the treatment table meaning our squad is being stretched to it’s limits once again.
However, there is some good news with Koscielny in contention despite picking up a hip injury last time out while Walcott could also be back in the squad tomorrow after recovering from a calf injury.
I personally wouldn’t risk Kos from the start, especially with the Olympiakos game in midweek, so I’d go with Gabriel alongside Mertesacker at the back.
Despite the injury worries in attack, I also wouldn’t throw Walcott in from the start just yet so The Ox and Campbell should play on the wings with Giroud up top.
I fully expect Sunderland to be set up to defend first, attack later, and this will make them difficult to break down. It’s not going to be easy to do-so without Cazorla and Sanchez [as well as the rest of the injured players] but surely we have enough in reserve to see-off Sunderland at home?! It may take some time, and I wouldn’t bet against it being 0-0 at half-time, but I’m backing the boys to eventually seal a 2-0 win.
Arsenal 2-0 Sunderland