The Stadium of Light, City of Sunderland

Sep 18, 2010, 9:55 PM IST

A lot has happened at Arsenal football club over the week. While, the mood has gone to an all-time high with the mid-week thrashing handed to Braga, there is caution in the air as the team travel to play the ‘Black Cats’ at their den, knowing very well about what happened there last season. In the middle of all the accusations thrown at Arsene, our manager needs to get his team focused before the big match at The Stadium of Light. These are the fixtures that Arsenal need to win to keep in pace with Chelsea and United in the title-race for this season. Sunderland, with the strike-force of new signing Asamoah Gyan and prolific goal-scorer Darren Bent, look like an irresistible force, at least at their home ground. Though their start to the season hasn’t been convincing enough (5 points from 4 games), they’ll try their best to frustrate a high-flying Arsenal led by a new-dimensional Cesc Fabregas.

Sunderland Injury Updates:

Kieran Richardson and Ahmed Elmohamady are expected to be fit for the match, though they picked up minor knocks against Wigan. Defender Mensah picked up a knock in the traning and thereby might not be available for this weekend. Frazier Campbell, Michael Turner, Craig Gordon and David Meyler are all unavailable due to some injuries.

Bent - Sunderland's key man

Arsenal Injury Updates:

Injuries and Arsenal are like Indissoluble Lovers who are an annoying cliche to love and mankind. Robin Van Persie, who finds his place in this section on a perennial basis, doesn’t disappoint this time too. Nicolas Bendtner, Theo Walcott, Aron Ramsey, Abou Diaby and Thomas Vermaelen are unfit to play along with the elegant Dutchman.

Arsenal Possible Starting Line-up: Almunia, Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy, Song, Eboue, Cesc, Rosicky, Arshavin, Chamakh

Sunderland Possible Starting Line-up: Mignolet, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Bramble, Richardson, Malbranque, Elmohamady, Riveros, Henderson, Bent, Gyan.

Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)

The Man of the Moment

The 23-year old captain of Arsenal Football Club is an irresistible force with an unmatched vision in English football. He cuts through defenders like an excellent surgeon would do, extremely clinical. He can feed his strikers all day long with his precise passing and psychic understanding with his attackers. Sunderland, if they want to get anything out of the tie, they need to stop Cesc Fabregas.

TheHardTackle’s PREDICTION:

Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal


Oct 04, 2008, Sunderland 1 – 1 Arsenal (Leadbetter 86′, Cesc 90′)

Arsenal, with a strike-force of Adebayor and Robin Van Persie started at The Stadium of Light against a Sunderland team with Djibril Cisse in its ranks. The match went on till 85 minutes without any team bothering the scorers, with both teams struggling to make an impact on proceedings. Grant Leadbetter, would come on from bench and score within 3 minutes of arrival, with a stunning strike from distance. Arsenal would find the equalizer via a rare Cesc Fabregas header from a Van Persie corner, deep into stoppage time. Everybody believed that the draw was a fair result on that day.

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