The tenth round of Premier League action kicks off with Arsenal’s trip to the Stadium of Light to face a Sunderland side low on confidence; the Black Cats are the only Premier League side yet to register a victory this season.
Arsene Wenger’s men are in irresistible form since an opening day 4-3 loss to Liverpool, the result which sparked demands from some Gunners fans to have their manager finally removed from the post. Such claims were premature, though, as Wenger has since guided his side to 10 wins and three draws in all competitions to find themselves separated from the top spot in the league by goal difference only.
There’s a much different story for David Moyes, who is beginning to feel the heat as Sunderland manager after a succession of poor results that finds his side languished at the bottom of the league. Their grim season could get a whole lot worse Saturday afternoon, as a loss for Sunderland would be the worst ever start for a Premier League side after 10 games, even worse than the abject Aston Villa last season.
Arsene Wenger recently revealed the latest news on Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey, saying, “They are available for selection. I have to be a bit cautious, especially with Aaron Ramsey, because he has not played at all yet.” He also confirmed striker Lucas Perez will miss between six to eight weeks, while Theo Walcott, Nacho Monreal and Santi Cazorla will all go through late fitness tests.
David Moyes has a few key players out with injury, notably Italian duo Fabio Borini and Vito Mannone. Seb Larsson and Jan Kirchhoff will also miss out, while there will be late fitness tests on the availability of Adnan Januzaj, Lee Cattermole and Jason Denayer, though it is looking unlikely that they will make it in time for the visit from Arsenal.
The record between the two sides makes for more painful reading for Sunderland fans; the last 10 in all competitions have resulted in six Arsenal wins, three draws and just the one Sunderland victory in an FA Cup tie. As for the last time Sunderland beat Arsenal in the league, the home fans will have to get nostalgic, going back seven years to the 2009/10 season. Darren Bent scored the winner that day, from Sunderland’s only shot on target no less, to guide the Black Cats to a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light.
David Moyes would surely be happy to take a point judging by the way his Sunderland career has started, but Wenger would view anything other than three points for his side as a disappointment. It’s hard to see how a fragile Sunderland side that has conceded 16 goals, and scored just six, are going to trouble Arsenal, who possess one of the league’s best defensive and attacking records. We’re going with a solid 2-0 Arsenal win, which will no doubt raise more questions about David Moyes’ security as manager of Sunderland. If you fancy a punt on the game, then all the best English Premier League betting odds are found with William Hill.