Arsenal will focus its attention in the Premier League against Sunderland after the win in the EFL cup which ensured the Gunner’s progress in the last-eight.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the hero of the night for the Emirates as the young Englishman scored a brace to sink Reading. He ensured Arsenal’s 14th win over Reading in fourteen games in all competitions and kept his team’s purple patch ongoing.
New striker Lucas Perez started for Arsenal as the focal point of attack, but the goals came from the right wing, where Chamberlain played throughout the game.
After the game, manager Arsene Wenger was very pleased with the performance of the team, and even more so with Chamberlain, praising the former Southampton man.
Wenger said, as reported by DailyStar:
“His [Chamberlain’s] quality of concentration, his focus, is sharper. He is more determined and he has worked a lot mentally you know, to be really focused and I think it comes out every day in training and now it is starting to come out in the games.”
Watch Chamberlain’s first goal against Reading below.
The win was sweeter for the fans even more, as many young Gunners were fielded, packed with energy and enthusiasm, and they didn’t disappoint against a solid opponent.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, and Alex Iwobi were the young Gunners fielded, and they were complimented by experienced players like Gabriel Paulista and Kieran Gibbs.
The win means Arsenal Wenger’s plan to give rest to majority of his first-team succeeded. Hence, against Sunderland, a full strength Arsenal side will start.
It is quite surprising that Arsenal’s latest defeat was against Liverpool, in the first game of the season. Since then, the Gunners have played 13 games without a loss, winning 10 of them.
Arsenal fans were surprised this week due the absence of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez from Ballon d’Or 2016 nominees list, despite enjoying a great year in Arsenal colors. The Chilean even led his team to Copa America Centenario trophy, and was awarded the player of the tournament award in the process.
Meanwhile, Sunderland lost its last game in the Premier League, a 2-1 defeat at the hands of West Ham. Winston Reid scored in the dying minutes to put misery on Sunderland, and this time the Black Cats have an even more difficult task to stop a well-oiled Arsenal team.
Date, Kick-Off Time, and Venue
Arsenal will travel to the home of Sunderland, the Stadium of Light, on Saturday, October 29. The kick-off is at 12:30 p.m. UK, 4:30 a.m. Pacific Time, or 3:30 p.m. UAE Time.
In the UK, the coverage will be on SKY GO Extra, NOW TV UK, Sky Sports 1/HD UK, and Sky Go UK. In the U.S., the game will be live on SiriusXM FC, NBC Sports Live, NBC UNIVERSO, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, and NBCSN. You can also watch the game stream live online for free. Links are provided at the bottom of this article.
Arsenal: Team News
Oliver Giroud is back for Arsenal from a toe injury, and he participated in the win against Reading from the bench. The Frenchman contributed for the team’s second goal, an assist for the Ox, and he could have had a goal of his own had he not missed from point blank range.
In previous seasons, Giroud was one of the fixtures of the Arsenal team, but now, since Alexis Sanchez is playing as the focal point of attack, Arsenal has improved, which means Giroud will be dropped to the bench.
Santi Cazorla, who was missed dearly in the stalemate against Middlesbrough, is doubtful against Sunderland, although the Spaniard is expected to make in the substitutes.
Aaron Ramsey will remain sidelined due to a hamstring injury, and so will Danny Welbeck and Per Mertesacker, who are expected to return in 2017.
Granit Xhaka is suspended for this game, so Mohamad Elneny and Francis Coquelin will start at the base of midfield.
Arsenal Starting Line-Up vs. Sunderland (4-2-3-1)
Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal; Elneny, Coquelin; Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi; Sanchez
Sunderland: Team News
It has been seven years since Sunderland last won against Arsenal. This time, the Black Cats will hope luck will be on their side, although several Sunderland players will be unavailable due to injuries. Denayer (groin injury ), Adnan Janujaj (ankle injury), Jan Kirchoff (hamstring injury), Vito Manonne (arm injury), Fabio Borini (groin injury), and Stefan Larsson (knee injury) will be unavailable for David Moyes.
Sunderland Starting Line-Up vs. Arsenal (4-5-1)
Jordan Pickford; Lamine Kone, Javier Manquillo, John O’Shea, Patrick van Aanholt; Wahbi Khazri, Didier Ndong, Steven Pienaar, Jack Rodwell, Duncan Watmore; Jermain Defoe
Sunderland vs. Arsenal: Head-To-Head
Arsenal win: 56
Sunderland win: 45
Last game: Ended in 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium
Sunderland vs. Arsenal: Betting Tips and Odds
- Sunderland win: 13/2
- A draw: 15/4
- Arsenal win: 2/5
- Under 2.5 goals: 6/4
- Over 2.5 goals: 1/2
- Both teams to score: 4/6
- Both teams fail to score: 11/10
The odds were provided by Paddypower.
Key Stats to consider
- Arsenal is one of two unbeaten teams away from home this season.
- Sunderland has never scored more than two goals in a Premier League game vs Arsenal, and in the two games it has scored two goals, it’s failed to win either game.
- Olivier Giroud has scored five and assisted two goals in his last six PL games against the Black Cats in all competitions.
- David Moyes has lost 14 PL matches against Arsene Wenger.
Sunderland vs. Arsenal: Match Prediction
It will take something special for Sunderland to take points from this Arsenal side. Wenger’s men are in great form, and even the fringe players are playing well when given chance.
Sunderland, who has lost four out of their last fives games, is in sixes and sevens at the moment, so we are predicting Arsenal to take all three points from the Stadium of Light.
Final predicted score: Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal.
Sunderland vs. Arsenal: Live Stream Free
Sunderland vs Arsenal can be streamed live online by clicking this link. The link will be updated just before kick-off.
[Featured Image by Alex Livesey/Getty Images]