It might be easy to forget given their form in two Cup competitions, but Sunderland is sitting in the drop zone. That’s the type of club Arsenal tends to devour in the Premier League, as the Black Cats have a massive test ahead of them today (Watch live and online at 9:55am ET via NBC Sports Live Extra).
Sunderland lost 2-0 at home to Hull in its last PL fixture, but have otherwise been pretty strong (especially given its horrific start to the season). The Black Cats are still in 18th but are even in points with, and have played one less match than West Brom.
The Gunners are being monitored by many as candidates for another collapse after a draw with Manchester United and a thumping by Liverpool has them sitting second in the table with Manchester City lurking two points behind (with a game-in-hand).
Arsene Wenger will rest playmaking wizard Mesut Ozil, who has cooled off in recent weeks and missed a critical penalty against Bayern Munich during Arsenal’s mid-week UEFA Champions League loss.
Arsenal has traditionally stomped on Sunderland, with a 12W-7D-1L record in their past 20 Premier League encounters.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Rosicky, Wilshere, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud
Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gnabry, Sanogo, Bendtner
Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Ki, Johnson, Colback, O’Shea, Altidore, Bridcutt, Vergini, Alonso, Borini
Subs: Larsson, Gardner, Celustka, Giaccherini, Cuellar, Scocco, Ustari