The two sides meet in the FA Cup third round on Saturday afternoon, with the Black Cats being handed a tough trip to the Emirates early on in the competition.
Their attention is sure to be focused elsewhere though, as they currently seek to escape the relegation zone in the coming months.
Despite that, Arsenal midfielder Coquelin is expecting them to provide tough competition, as they will be more than keen to win the current holders of the trophy.
“It’s always going to be tough against Sunderland,” he told arsenal.com.
“They gave us a difficult game a couple of weeks ago, so we know it will be tough.”
“They’re going to want to beat the champions as well, so they will be really, really motivated and beating us could give them a boost in their season as well. Everyone will be prepared for it.”
What may be in Sunderland’s favour this weekend is Arsenal’s focus also being on the Premier League this year.
Unlike Sunderland, the Gunners are challenging at the top of the table this year, and with them currently first in the table, will see this as the best chance in years to win the Premier League.
That is likely to see Arsene Wenger rotate his squad for the weekend’s game, giving Sunderland a big chance to progress to the next round.