- Arsenal team news: double blow ahead of Sunderland + Ramsey update
- Duo to miss key game: My 4-2-3-1 Arsenal line-up v Sunderland
- Arsenal blow: Attacker ruled out for 6 weeks with ankle injury
- Arsenal boss set to hand start to 23-year-old against Sunderland
- League Cup draw: Arsenal face Southampton in last 8
- [Photos] Alexis Sanchez reveals frustration after Ballon d’Or Snub
- [Tweets] Arsenal players celebrate on Twitter after beating Reading
- [Player Ratings] Arsenal 2-0 Reading: The Ox & Gibbs Impress
- Video: Arsenal 2-0 Reading: Oxlade-Chamberlain double sinks Royals
- Teams: Arsenal v Reading: Jeff & Perez start
Paul Merson makes his prediction for Arsenal’s game with Sunderland
Former Arsenal winger Paul Merson has made his prediction ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Sunderland on Sunday afternoon and he’s backing us to drop two points.
We head to the Stadium of Light off the back of a routine 2-0 win over West Brom last night which saw us reclaim third spot in the table and move four points clear of fifth-placed Man Utd.
However, as we witnessed during the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace last weekend, this Arsenal team has lost it’s edge and Merson believes it’s this lack of desire that’s likely to see us held to a 1-1 draw by a rejuvenated Sunderland side, who are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table.
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, he said:
I watched Arsenal on Sunday and it was one of the flattest performances I’ve seen, they just went through the motions. It was so quiet at the Emirates that I heard Petr Cech shout ‘keeper’ when clearing a ball. How is that possible in front of 60,000 people? Arsenal beat West Brom on Thursday, but they should have beaten Palace too. Sunderland, meanwhile, have picked up under Big Sam, winning at Norwich last week. I fancy them to edge closer to safety with a point, but they do need to score first.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1
You can’t argue that we’ll need to step things up if we want to get a result on Sunday. Our first half performance against West Brom was great and if all the players matched Alexis Sanchez’s desire we’d have scored 10.
But if we turn up like we did against Palace and just expect to roll Sunderland over, we’ll be in for a shock. The Black Cats are in a fierce battle with Newcastle to avoid the drop so you can be sure Sam Allardyce will have them fired up this weekend, and we need to match that passion on the pitch.