Sunderland vs. Arsenal Preview

Sunderland welcome Arsenal to the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon, looking to improve on a record which has seen the beat Arsene Wenger’s men just once in the last eighteen meetings.

The Black Cats go in to the game on the back on a 2-1 defeat to Reading, a result which saw the slip to twelfth position. However, victory here could see them climb in to the top half of the table.

Winger James McCLean looks unlikely to feature after injuring his ankle on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. Lee Catermole is also unlikely to play, though Carlos Cuellar could return after recovering from a hamstring problem.
Steven Fletcher is widely available at 8.5 (15/2) to open the scoring, whilst you can back recent signing Danny Graham to net first on his home debut at 10.0 (9/1) with Bet 365.

The hosts are 4.5 (7/2) with Bet 365 to get the victory, with Arsenal odds on favourites with Paddy Power offering the best price of 1.95 (19/20). The draw is 3.7 (27/10) woth Bet Victor.

Arsenal, who currently lie in sixth position, recorded a narrow victory against Stoke City last time out; a result which left them four points behind the Champions League qualification places.

The Gunners face a defensive selection headache, with Laurent Koscielny looking set to join captain Thomas Vermaelen on the side-lines.

Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Francis Coquelin should all be fit, though Gervinho is likely to miss out despite returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Walcott is favourite to open the scoring at 7.0 (6/1) with Bet Victor, with Olivier Giroud a 7.5 (13/2) shot with the same firm.

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