The Belgian centre-back believes that Martin O'Neill's men will offer a more technical test than the one encountered last weekend against Stoke City.
Vermaelen said that the Gunners were unlucky not to beat the Black Cats on the opening day of the season, when they were held 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
Thomas Vermaelen: "Sunderland away is always a tough game.
"I think we did well in the first game of the season at home against Sunderland.
"We couldn't score but we were the better team and had the better chances.
"I think Sunderland has a little bit more technical quality than Stoke. Stoke was always a difficult game."