Three wins and a single loss in six Premier League games have given Sunderland a seriously good chance of staying afloat again, but the Black Cats could be forced to sweat it out on the final day if their manager doesn’t alter the tactics at Arsenal.
In the final midweek fixture of the season, the Wearsiders make the trip down to London buoyed by recent results, though if their fortuitous win over Everton is anything to go by then bogey side Arsenal could have a field day.
Sunderland have not won in their last seven trips to the Emirates Stadium, while the 2-0 scoreline in Arsenal’s favour in the reverse was the fourth defeat in a row suffered at the hands of their hosts.
Such heavily-tipped scales will already be leaning some folk towards the 3/10 on Arsene Wenger’s men, but anyone who saw their last away performance may wish to seek larger profits elsewhere.
So early in his tenure Advocaat deserves credit for his bold team selections, but playing three recognised centre-forwards in a 4-3-3 brings obvious risks of exposure, especially away from home, and especially against a team as blessed in attack as Arsenal.
Connor Wickham, Jermain Defoe and Danny Graham have all started alongside one another over the past three matches and it so nearly backfired at Goodison Park.
Sunderland pretty much achieved daylight robbery on Merseyside when winning 2-0, with Costel Pantilimon having to be inspired as Advocaat’s side conceded 73 per cent possession, allowing 22 shots.
Despite Arsenal being uncharacteristically frustrated in their previous two home matches against Chelsea and Swansea (0-0, 0-1), the Gunners are unlikely to be as unforgiving as the Toffees if afforded the same space.
Liverpool had been hit for four, West Ham three and Everton two, before this sticky patch and a return to goal scoring looks almost inevitable.
With five in his last 11 for club and country, Aaron Ramsey looks the pick of the anytime Arsenal scorers at 6/4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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