Arsenal line-leader gets price boost for Sunderland outing

Only two teams have scored more opening goals in the Premier League this season than Arsenal, so when the Gunners host Sunderland on Wednesday night the first goalscorer market should be one to peruse carefully.

Although he isn’t the most proficient at getting the scoreboard rolling among the Emirates ranks, news that Olivier Giroud’s price to nab the night’s opener has been boosted, to 4/1 from 10/3, should catch the eye too.

Alexis Sanchez has scored more deadlock breakers than his French teammate, registering eight of the team’s 24 in the Premier League to Giroud’s six, but it’s the former Montpellier man’s record against the Black Cats that tips the scales in his favour.

Three goals in four all-competition appearances for the 28-year-old make him a thorn in Sunderland’s side. That record is his third-best against a top-flight side since his 2012 arrival at the Emirates.

Throw into the mix the fact that the Gunners have opened the scoring in each of the last four meetings between these two and a compelling dossier for backing the Chambery native to score first starts to be built.

This is far from a dead-rubber fixture either, meaning the Gunners should be going all out to get one over on their relegation-threatened rivals.

The north Londoners need to win both of their remaining games and hope Manchester City slip up in their final outing in order to claim their first Premier League silver medal for 10 years.

Arsene Wenger’s side are heavily fancied to claim victory, at 3/10, with Sunderland distant outsiders at 10s and the draw a 9/2 shot.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.