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Preview: Sunderland v Arsenal, team news, line-up & prediction
Arsenal take on Sunderland on Sunday afternoon needing a win to climb back up to third and close the gap on rivals Tottenham.
Thursday’s comfortable 2-0 win over West Brom at the Emirates saw us reclaim third spot temporarily but Man City’s victory over Stoke earlier today has seen us drop back to fourth.
With Tottenham not playing WBA until Monday night, we have the chance to cut their lead to just two points and keep alive our hopes of celebrating St Totteringham’s day once again.
My big concern is that we’ve been pretty flat in recent games and Sunderland are a side who are battling to stay in the Premier League, so we have to make sure we match their intensity tomorrow.
The Black Cats currently sit level on points with Newcastle in 18th place but can climb out of the drop zone if they avoid defeat on Sunday, so this certainly isn’t going to be an easy game.
Wilshere is back in contention after coming through his latest run-out for the under-21’s unscathed but Arsene has refused to divulge whether he’ll include the midfielder in the squad or wait for next weeks home game with Norwich.
Cazorla has been back in training for a week but the Spaniard needs some more time before he’ll be available for selection.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has also resumed full training but like Santi he needs to work on his fitness and could even play for the under-21’s in their play off next week.
As for Sunderland, Andre Yedlin is expected to be passed fit and Jack Rodwell is available but Jermain Lens is a doubt.
Mertesacker brought some composure to the back four on Thursday so I would certainly keep him in tomorrow while I liked the look of Ramsey alongside Elneny so would like to see that partnership develop.
The only change I’d make is bringing Welbeck back in for Giroud up top.
Like I said earlier, we simply have to be prepared to fight for everything tomorrow as Sunderland are certainly going to. If we perform as we did against Palace last week, we’ll lose, simple as that. However, I’m going to back the boys to do the business and bring home the win.
Sunderland 0-2 Arsenal