Sunderland v Arsenal preview: Ozil travels despite Illness, Mertesacker Ruled Out
The Gunners are heading into this match on the back of two successive victories against Fulham and Tottenham respectively. In their last match, they earned a moral boosting 1-0 victory in the North London derby against their bitter rivals Tottenham. Manager Arsene Wenger will be hoping for nothing less than another full three points against Paolo Di Canio’s side on Saturday.
Sunderland on the other hand are struggling miserably. The Black Cats are sitting joint-bottom of the Premier League after suffering a 3-1 defeat against Ian Holloway’s Crystal Palace in their last match. Surely, Di Canio will be hoping for a strong response at home from his boys against the Gunners.
Arsenal have been dealt with double injury blows as record signing Mesut Ozil and defender Per Mertesacker have both been struck with illness. It is understood that despite illness, Ozil will travel with the squad but it is unlikely that the German International will make the starting line-up, while centre-back Mertesacker will stay back in London.
Midfielder Tomas Rosicky is also out with a hamstring injury and joins the long list of absentees alongside Mikel Arteta, Diaby, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Yaya Sanogo and Lukas Podolski.
Sunderland are likely to hand Fabio Borini, who joined from Liverpool on loan, his debut against the Gunners. John O’shea is missing after being sent off in the last game, while Jack Coleback is expected to retain his place despite the arrival of Andrea Dossena.
Sunderland (Possible, 4-4-2): Westwood; Celustka, Roberge, Diakité, Colback; Johnson, Cabral, Larson, Giaccherini; Altidore, Borini.
Arsenal (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Sagna, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Gibbs; Ramsey, Wilshere; Walcott, Ozil, Cazorla; Giroud.
Predicted Score: Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal
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