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Sunderland vs Arsenal: Preview, team news and prediction

Arsenal travel to the Stadium of Light in the early kick-off on Saturday as they hope to take all three points from their clash with Sunderland.

The Gunners were left disappointed last weekend after being held by Middlesbrough, and although their rivals at the top of the Premier League table mostly slipped up too, it was still a frustrating day for Arsene Wenger’s men.

In turn, they’ll want to avoid another slip up this weekend and given Sunderland have won just one of their last 25 Premier League games against Arsenal, with nine draws and 15 losses, history would suggest that the visitors should be confident.

Further, Arsenal have lost just one away game in the league in 2016 which came at Old Trafford in February, and so Wenger will be confident that they can return home with a positive result.

Team news

Jermain Defoe is expected to return after being on the bench in midweek for the EFL Cup, although Moyes will still be without Sebastian Larsson, Vito Mannone, Fabio Borini, Lee Cattermole and Jan Kirchhoff.

The former Everton and Manchester United manager needs a win to lift his side who have yet to secure a victory so far this season. In turn, it leaves them bottom of the pile and five points adrift of safety.

As for the visitors, Wenger welcomes back Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey to the squad, but Lucas Perez has been ruled out for eight weeks with an ankle injury while Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Nacho Monreal all face late fitness tests.

Prediction

Sunderland 0-2 Arsenal. Much depends on the team that Wenger is able to put out as Cazorla and Walcott amongst others have been highly influential in their great start to the season.

However, the confidence and quality at Sunderland is so low right now, that they should be able to win regardless. It will need Mesut Ozil pulling the strings between the lines and Alexis Sanchez’s pace and movement causing the Sunderland backline all sorts of problems, but this should be a relatively comfortable win for the Gunners to move top of the table, albeit temporarily.

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