Match Preview: Sunderland v Arsenal

Arsenal Likely Line-Up (4-3-1-2)

Almunia

Sagna – Toure – Gallas – Clichy

Fabregas – Song – Denilson

Van Persie

Walcott – Adebayor

Arsenal (Subs): Fabianski, Nasri, Vela, Silvestre, Djourou, Bendtner, Eboue

Sunderland Likely Line Up (4-5-1)

Gordon

Chimbonda – Ferdinand – Collins – McCartney,

Malbranque – Yorke – Whitehead – Richardson – Reid

Cisse

Sunderland (subs): Fulop, Bardsley, Diouf, Murphy, Chopra, Leadbitter, Healy

Tactics Talk

Roy Keane may well play a 4-4-2 formation after Hull’s recent success against Arsenal but is more likely to play 4-5-1 with Malbranque and Reid providing support to Cisse. Malbranque and Richardson will provide the creativity while also their tireless running in midfield with captain Whitehead. Cisse’s pace, power and direct play will be a danger as the Gunner’s usually play a higher line which he will look to exploit.The Frenchman has also scored a couple with his head this season

Arsenal will need to just play their passing and moving game which could be too much for the Black Cats if they are on song. Sunderland will be hard working and look to attack down the wings so therefore Sagna and Clichy may be in for a battle. The link up from midfield to attack will be key so Denilson will have to make sure he guards the defence and allows Fabregas to play, while also trying to provide some assistance when the Spaniard drops back.

Key Man: Robin Van Persie- The Gunners will be hoping it is the same Van Persie at Porto rather than the one at Hull. His movement and especially dropping into danger areas to link up play will be crucial if Arsenal are to win.

Danger Man: Steed Malbranque- The Belgian born Frenchman likes to paly against Arsenal after having his best success with Fulham. He is clever and can score goals arriving late from midfield.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-0 Sunderland

Team Sunderland Arsenal
Games Played 6 6
Goal Attempts
Goals 6 12
Ave Goals per game 1.00 2.00
Shots (excl blocked shots) 55 98
% Shots on Target 42% 39%
% Goals to Shots 11% 12%
Passing
Short Passes 1,789 2,688
Long Passes 328 373
Overall Pass Completion % 76% 85%
Crossing
Total Crosses 156 181
Cross Completion % 18% 20%
Defending
Goals Conceded 8 4
Ave goals conceded per game 1.33 0.67
Tackles 143 109
Tackles Won % 74% 74%
Blocks, Clearances & Interceptions 441 317
Discipline
Fouls 76 59
Yellow Cards 10 7
Red Cards 0 0
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