Fresh from an 8-0 humiliation Sunderland fans would be forgiven for cursing their luck at having to face Arsenal straight after such a defeat but with the Emirates side dreadfully out of form it may not be as bad as first feared.
The Gunners played their get out of jail free card in mid-week with late goals from Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski securing all three points in a 2-1 win against Anderlecht and will travel to the Stadium of Light in a much better mood than they might have done.
Arsene Wenger’s men, despite being short of form, will be confident they have the attacking prowess to punish Sunderland, who are 4/1 for victory, and are available at 7/10 to take all three points back to north London with the draw available at 11/4.
But Oliver Yew has dug a bit deeper to bring you three alternative bets for the clash between the Black Cats and the Gunners.
Sunderland may be a team short of confidence after last week’s showing but Arsenal are also a team lacking a certain verve after a number of lacklustre performances.
The win in Anderlecht will boost confidence at the north London club but the late turn-around has papered over a number of cracks, particularly at the back.
Wojciech Szczęsny returns in goal after sitting out in midweek and that is a boost for the Gunners but Wenger has to have a re-think about Per Mertesacker’s partnership with Nacho Monreal in the absence of Laurent Koscielny.
If he doesn’t then Sunderland have a huge opportunity to get on the scoresheet, albeit in what we think will be an Arsenal win – which occurred on both occasions these two sides met last term.
As previously mentioned, things have not quite kicked into gear going forward for Arsenal but away from the Emirates the north Londoners seem to play with a bit more freedom.
In their 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park Wenger’s men seemed to thrive when playing on the counter-attack.
And with pace in abundance from the likes of Alex Sanchez, Danny Welbeck, coupled with the possible return of Theo Walcott, they could cause Sunderland plenty of problems.
If Arsenal click into gear then the 8/5 on them beating the -1 handicap looks too good a bet to ignore with the 19/5 on them overcoming the -2 handicap also very tempting.
The Welshman has not hit the heights of last season with his performances so far this term but he will be determined to put that right at the Stadium of Light.
Ramsey completed 90 minutes in Brussels after returning from injury and while he has not found the back of the net since the opening day win against Crystal Palace he has been getting into goal scoring positions.
Against Sunderland, Ramsey can get back into the knack of scoring and repeat his heroics of last season when he netted a double on Wearside.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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