Arsenal not playing well enough to beat battered Sunderland - Merson

Sunderland Stadium of Light

Former Gunners midfielder doubts his old club can even defeat the Black Cats, who were recently trounced 8-0 by Southampton.

Sunderland were recently annihilated 8-0 by a rampant Southampton but Paul Merson doubts Arsenal can even get three points out of the relegation threatened Black Cats, as the Gunners take on the Mackem side at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon.

Arsenal's form has been abject all season as the North Londoners have returned just a brace of victories from eight matches in the Premier League. Arsene Wenger and his squad recently returned from Belgium after an unlikely come-from-behind 2-1 edging of Anderlecht, with both Arsenal goals arriving in the final two minutes.

Because of this, Merson anticipates "a hard game".

He said in his Sky Sports column: "Sunderland may have lost 8-0 to Southampton, but they are not a bad team. I could see Burnley losing a game heavily later in the season if they were struggling for squad depth, but I would never have expected it with Sunderland.

"They scored a bad own goal straight away and there was nothing in the game after the second goal. They were denied a stonewall penalty to make it 2-1 and it could have been a different game.

"It became a bit of a joke in the second half and it wasn’t good to watch, but for the first 30 minutes there wasn’t a lot in it. Arsenal are not playing well at all and this is a hard game for them, so I’m going for a 1-1 draw."

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