Premier League Preview: Sunderland vs. Arsenal

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  • Sunderland are unbeaten at home this season (W1-D3)
  • Arsenal has drawn five of their last seven matches
  • Jack Wilshere is suspended for yellow card accumulation

Sunderland will look to avenge last week’s 8-0 thrashing at Southampton as they host an Arsenal side desperate for wins.

You can watch the match live this Saturday at 9:45 a.m. ET online via Live Extra. 

The Black Cats had their worst-ever defeat last match day in what manager Gus Poyet called the most embarrassing moment of his football career. Things won’t get easier as the Stadium of Light welcomes Arsene Wenger’s squad fresh off of a dramatic Champions League victory.

[ MORE: Southampton 8-0 Sunderland Podolski steals late win for Arsenal ]

Arsenal’s recent run of form in the Premier League has been rather disappointing, with only one win in the club’s last seven matches. During that run, the Gunners have drawn five times as they continue to struggle defensively. Arsene Wenger is under some of the most pressure he’s experienced during his 18-year tenure as Gunners’ boss, and will need to turn around his team’s play to silence the critics.

[ RELATED: Premier League stats]

For Sunderland it will be Vito Mannone in net, despite conceding eight goals last match. The Italian keeper can’t be faulted though, as he has been strong in between the sticks and will be looking to keep his former club off the score sheet. New signing Anthony Reveillere could make his Sunderland debut after making a move from Napoli, which would help bolster down the Black Cats’ defense.

[ RELATED: Southampton keeper wants to reimburse fans ]

What they’re saying:

Sunderland skipper John O’Shea on rebounding: “Three points is the biggest thing we need to give everyone – fans, ourselves and the staff. Ultimately, you have to confine that (last match) to a one-off.

Arsene Wenger on the Gunners’ poor defensive record: “Last year we had 17 clean sheets with the same defense and this year we can’t produce that. We put a lot of effort into our work to be more efficient but we give chances away that very few other teams do. At the moment our opponents have made the most of what we have given away.”

Prediction:

It will be interesting to see how the Stadium of Light feels following such a demoralizing defeat, but expect the fans to be in full support of their club. This could be a trap-match for Arsenal as the Gunners fall victim to another draw. Sunderland 1-1 Arsenal.