Sunderland v Arsenal: Five players under the spotlight

Sunderland will want to kick start their season in front of their own fans by grabbing all three points, though it will be very difficult to do that with Arsenal visiting.

Arsene Wenger’s men are full of confidence after a big win against rivals Tottenham last time out and not to mention having their record signing available in the squad.

This will no doubt give the whole squad a boost. It will be a tight game, it always is at Sunderland, but Arsenal look too strong for the Black cats.

Odds: Sunderland 19/4, Draw 14/5, Arsenal 8/11

Last meeting

Sunderland 0-1 Arsenal – Stadium of Light, Saturday 9th February 2013

Arsenal came way from the Stadium of Light with three points back in February. Both sides needed the win for different reasons, Arsenal for top 4 and Sunderland to avoid relegation.

The away side dominated the early stages of the game and took the lead through Santi Cazorla before half time but the sending off of Carl Jenkinson forced Arsenal to defend their lead for the final half an hour, they held out and it was a big three points.

Here are five players to watch on Saturday:

Mesut Özil

There has been a lot written about the German midfielder for good reason, he is Arsenal’s record signing and is likely to make his debut on Saturday. It will be very interesting to see how he fits into the team and if he can settle into the Premier League quickly. Arsenal fans will be hoping that he can slot in straight away and show his quality.

Jozy Altidore

The American striker will provide a much-needed boost to the Sunderland team with his return to the side from injury. He missed the trip to Crystal Palace, which Di Canio’s side lost 3-1. If he can start finidng the net then he could be vital to Sunderland’s recovery after a poor start to the season.

Fabio Borini

After an injury troubled year at Liverpool Borini has joined Sunderland on loan and is expected to make his debut at the weekend. He has been talking about how he will upset Özil’s debut, interesting to see if he can make an impact.

Santi Cazorla

He has had an excellent start to the season and it will be fascinating to see how he can team up with Mesut Özil in the Arsenal midfield. Look for him to try and take charge of the game early on and his passing and creativity will prove vital to Arsenal’s chances of winning the match.

Andrea Dossena

Another former Liverpool player joins Sunderland’s squad and he is also expected to make his first start for the club, Di Canio needs some sort of defensive solidity not that John O’Shea is out suspended and injured, Dossena could provide this.

image: © vagueonthehow

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