Sunderland vs. Arsenal – Premier League Match Preview

Posted by: Amir Houshangi

sunderland_away

After what seemed like an interlull of much longer than two weeks (thanks to the anticipation surrounding Mesut Ozil’s signing), Arsenal finally returns primed to pick up where they left off following a vintage 1-0 victory over sp*rs.

The international break unfortunately spelled another casualty for Arsenal, as in-form Tomas Rosicky has picked up an injury. A damn shame, as Rosicky was brilliant the past few weeks. It has the same feeling as losing Diaby to injury when he was called up by France last season, right after his MOTM performance against Liverpool. Nevertheless, Ozil seems to have arrived at an opportune time, although the latest news indicates that Ozil and Mertesacker have picked up some bizarre German flu, which has prevented the BFG from traveling with the squad. 

This casts doubt on Ozil starting against Sunderland, leaving the obvious option here Wilshere and Flamini as our deep midfield options, with Ramsey situating himself just ahead of the duo. Wenger has confirmed that he sees Wilshere as more of a deep midfield option, which will be very interesting to watch in the next few weeks. He has certainly showed a fiery approach and has a knack for getting in the opposition’s face. Flamini also impressed last week against sp*rs, displaying leadership and decisiveness that made it seem like he never left.

Our back four will also be seeing a bit of a shuffle, although there is the good news that Vermaelen has returned from his injury. Nevertheless, the expectation is that Sagna will once again partner up with Koscielny, with Jenkinson and Gibbs rounding out in the fullback position. Would be nice to see TV5 make his return to the squad, but I find it more likely that Monreal gets subbed on later for Gibbs.

Nothing new that I expect from our forward platoon, with Cazorla, Walcott, and Giroud prepared to take on Sunderland’s defense. Giroud is tied for most goals in the Premier League now, and scored a great goal in the North London Derby. Disturbingly,  Yaya Sanogo has picked up an injury, leaving Arsenal in dire straits when it comes to backup strikers. However,  Arsene Wenger has challenged Nicklas Bendtner, TGSTEL, to show he still has some talent left in him, which is probably more disturbing to some Gooners.

Nevertheless, Sunderland has struggled out of the gate so far. They have some firepower with US international Jozy Altidore, but Altidore has failed to make a stamp in the top flight of England so far. Our defense will have to be focused, but I do not anticipate them struggling too much against the Black Cats’ forward and midfield attack.

Arsenal has gained a nice boost with the massive signing of Ozil, and aim to continue placing the ball in the back of the net. Sunderland won’t be as haphazard as Fulham, but a clean sheet should still be attainable. Prediction: 2-0 to The Arsenal. Giroud and Walcott with a goal. Ozil will be subbed on the 70th minute and probably complete more passes than the entire Sunderland squad combined. 

Ooh to be a Goonah!
@Soccratic