Sunderland v Arsenal

22 Apr

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce


Arsene Wenger and Sam Allardyce have managed more than 1,000 Premier League games between them

TEAM NEWS

Jack Rodwell returns to Sunderland’s squad after illness but Jeremain Lens is struggling with a virus.

Defender DeAndre Yedlin is doubtful with an ankle injury but Fabio Borini has shaken off a shin problem.

Jack Wilshere could make the Arsenal squad for the first time this season after recovering from a broken leg.

Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky are back in training after respective Achilles and thigh injuries but are unlikely to feature.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

John Roder: “Sunderland’s essential victory at fellow strugglers Norwich last weekend has given Sam Allardyce renewed confidence that he can guide the Black Cats to safety.

“They have a better goal difference than Norwich and Newcastle, with a game in hand on both their relegation rivals.

“Arsene Wenger has a very different problem. Arsenal’s dip in form has cost them their best chance in recent years of winning the title in this extraordinary season.

“Expectations were high in the red half of north London when Sunderland were beaten 3-1 at the Emirates in December.

“But now Wenger is targetting a second-place finish. To an increasing number of fans, that revised target is not acceptable.”

Twitter: @johnrodercomm

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce: “We finally put the perfect result together at Norwich at a crucial time…

“Hopefully we can challenge Arsenal like we challenged Manchester United here.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Sunderland seem to have tightened up defensively because they have now had two clean sheets in their last three games.

I am backing them to pick up another point here, because I am not sure what to expect from Arsenal at the moment.

Prediction: 1-1

Lawro’s full predictions v world heavyweight champion boxer Anthony Joshua

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Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Sunderland have won just one of their last 24 Premier League games against Arsenal (D8, L15).
  • Arsenal are unbeaten in 12 league matches against Sunderland (W8, D4) and have won on their last four league trips to the Stadium of Light.
  • Arsenal won 3-1 in December’s reverse fixture, and also beat the Black Cats by the same scoreline in the FA Cup third round in January.

Sunderland

  • Sunderland’s victory at Norwich last weekend was their first in seven league games.
  • Sunderland have won just four of their last 17 Premier League matches at the Stadium of Light, including one of the last six.
  • Jermain Defoe has scored nine goals in his 14 league appearances in 2016.

Arsenal

  • Arsenal have drawn three of their last five league games.
  • The Gunners have won just three of their last 11 Premier League away games.
  • Alexis Sanchez has scored four goals and set up three in his last six Premier League games.
  • Olivier Giroud made his Premier League debut against Sunderland and has scored four goals in his last four appearances against them.
  • Aaron Ramsey has scored three goals in his last four Premier League appearances against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

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