Sunderland v Arsenal: Early start hands Gunners chance to lay down marker
The weekend’s Premier League action kicks off with Arsenal visiting Sunderland, and the Gunners have every chance to extend their 13-game unbeaten run.
Since an opening-day 4-3 loss to Liverpool, Arsene Wenger’s men have put together a fine stretch of results in all competitions.
They can go top of the table if they avoid defeat the Stadium of Light, and both the odds and recent history heavily suggest that will be the case.
The Gunners may have drawn 0-0 here last season, but they haven’t tasted a league loss in this part of the north-east since 2009.
Wenger’s charges were held to a stalemate by Middlesbrough a week ago, but results elsewhere ensured it wasn’t a terrible result.
The draw did extend Arsenal’s excellent defensive record however, with the Londoners keeping seven clean sheets in their last eight games.
For the superstitious among you this Halloween however, Sunderland have a knack of picking up wins around this time of year.
In each of the past four seasons, the Black Cats have ended dismal starts by winning a match between gameweeks nine and 11.
In the last two campaigns, that win has come on Gameweek 10 – this weekend.
But should this game go to form, one man who could shine is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The England international starred with both goals against Reading in the 2-0 EFL Cup win on Tuesday, and is 13/2 to score first.
The winger is 2/1 to score anytime, and with concerns that Theo Walcott is nursing a minor hamstring injury, Oxlade-Chamberlain could be the man to capitalise.
Olivier Giroud made his comeback from injury in that victory over the Royals, and the Frenchman leads the first goalscorer betting at 10/3.
Plus, having a bet on the big Saturday lunch-time game?
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