Arsenal Likely Line-Up (4-3-1-2)
Sagna – Toure – Gallas – Clichy
Fabregas – Song – Denilson
Walcott – Adebayor
Arsenal (Subs): Fabianski, Nasri, Vela, Silvestre, Djourou, Bendtner, Eboue
Sunderland Likely Line Up (4-5-1)
Chimbonda – Ferdinand – Collins – McCartney,
Malbranque – Yorke – Whitehead – Richardson – Reid
Sunderland (subs): Fulop, Bardsley, Diouf, Murphy, Chopra, Leadbitter, Healy
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
|Ave Goals per game||1.00||2.00|
|Shots (excl blocked shots)||55||98|
|% Shots on Target||42%||39%|
|% Goals to Shots||11%||12%|
|Overall Pass Completion %||76%||85%|
|Cross Completion %||18%||20%|
|Ave goals conceded per game||1.33||0.67|
|Tackles Won %||74%||74%|
|Blocks, Clearances & Interceptions||441||317|