Arsenal are heavy favourites to beat Sunderland later today, and with good reason. The Gunners have won 4 and drawn two of the last 6 meetings between the clubs, and with the Gunners riding high in the table and Sunderland languishing at the bottom, you’d be a brave man to predict anything other than an away win.
But Arsenal failed to put away a similarly poor opponent in Middlesbrough last week thanks to a poor display in front of goal, and if they are to get three points today they will need to actually get some shots off against Jordan Pickford, the Sunderland keeper who has been the one bright spot of their season so far.
Arsenal’s tricky but shot-shy front line of Sanchez-Iwobi-Chamberlain-Ozil must aim to test Pickford early and often rather than trying to pass it into the net – as tempting as that might be against a shambolic Black Cats defence. An early goal for the Gunners will likely see Sunderland’s confidence collapse – but if they let David Moyes’ side feel that they have a chance in the game they could struggle as they did last week.