Match Preview: Arsenal v Sunderland

19 February 2010 02:10
ARSENAL Almunia Eboue Campbell Vermaelen Clichy Walcott Fabregas Song Nasri Bendtner Vela

Bent Jones Richardson Cana Mensah Campbell McCartney Kilgallon Turner Hutton Gordon SUNDERLAND

Sunderland subs (from): Fulop (gk), Ferdinand, Bardsley, Da Silva, Liddle, Malbranque, Benjani, Zenden, Noble Arsenal subs (from): Fabianski (gk), Traore, Ramsey, Eastmond, Denilson, Sagna, Mannone, Coquelin, Rosicky

SUNDERLAND: Steve Bruce has a host of defensive options to call on but it's in midfield where he faces a several selection posers with four of his first-team ruled out. Kieran Richardson is expected to return to the starting line-up on the left while Bruce is keen to employ Fraizer Campbell's pace against the Gunners' back four. A lack of central midfield options could see John Mensah tasked to plug the gap. Suspensions: Meyler 3 matches, Cattermole 1 match Injuries: Henderson (ankle), Reid (hamstring) Last five league games: DDDLL Leading league scorer: Bent 15 Next game: Fulham (H) 28/2/10

ARSENAL: Arsene Wenger, who has his own selection crisis to contend with, will be hoping to recall first-choice keeper Manuel Almunia after seeing Lukasz Fabianski's howler at Porto in midweek, Alex Song could also return from injury but Abou Diaby will be missing because of a medial knee ligament injury. William Gallas, Eduardo and Andrey Arshavin are also out. Suspensions: None Injuries: Van Persie, Merida (both ankle), Djourou, Diaby (both knee), Arshavin, Eduardo (both hamstring), Gibbs (foot), Gallas (calf) Last five league games: WLLDW Leading league scorer: Fabregas 11 Key player: Cesc Fabregas - The Premier League's outstanding midfielder this season

Last season: 0-0 League head to head: Sunderland 44, Arsenal 46, draws 35 Referee: Steve Bennett (Farnborough) G21 Y73 R3 Av: 3.61 Last Sunderland game: v Portsmouth 1-1, 12/12/09 Y7 R1 Odds: H2/9; A16/1; D5/1

It's a fact: The last time Sunderland won a league game at Arsenal Tony Adams was making his Gunners' debut. Comment by Andy Richardson: Both teams are missing some hugely influential players but the depth of Arsenal's squad still makes them clear favourites. Prediction: 2-1

Source: Northern_Echo