CONFIRMED: Arsenal & Sunderland line-ups

Here is how Arsenal and Sunderland will line-up for this afternoon’s match at the Emirates Stadium:

Arsenal starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Arteta, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud

Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gnabry, Sanogo, Bendtner

Sunderland starting XI: Mannone, Bardsley, Ki, Johnson, Colback, O'Shea, Altidore, Bridcutt, Vergini, Alonso, Borini

Subs: Larsson, Gardner, Celustka, Giaccherini, Cuellar, Scocco, Ustari

Arsenal face Sunderland knowing they cannot afford to suffer another defeat given the sides currently challenging them at the top of the table.

Following the disappointment of the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich, it is now down to Arsene Wenger to motivate his troops and ensure they keep fighting in a title race they have every chance of winning.

Mesut Ozil is not in the match-day squad while Kieran Gibbs is also out with a hamstring injury.

The Black Cats are without Steven Fletcher and the suspended Wes Brown.

The resurgence of Sunderland means this will be far from an easy victory for the Gunners, and in fact the recent matches between the two sides points to a goalless draw (which has been the result in three of their last five encounters).

But a victory for Gus Poyet’s men could be hard to come by, with Sunderland without a league victory away to Arsenal since 1983.

What do you think the result will be this afternoon?

image: © wonker

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