Sunderland's misery looks set to continue when Arsenal travel to the Stadium Of Light.
Sunderland v Arsenal - Saturday 12:30, Sky Sports 1
Sunderland are in danger of being cut adrift at the bottom of the table and are the only side yet to win this season, having lost seven of their nine matches. They survived a difficult opening period before digging in and reverting to cautious defending against West Ham and were better in the second half where they had the chance to counter on occasion. However, they couldn’t make the most of their breaks and it was somewhat surprising to see Moyes substitute Duncan Whatmore and Wahbi Khazri, two of his best counter-attacking players. The switch was a negative one and as West Ham pushed Sunderland further back, their winner when it eventually came felt inevitable.
Arsenal had 73% of possession against Middlesbrough last week yet couldn’t find the way through to goal and it was reminiscent of their game with Burnley in early October. They won that game, but only in the 93rd minute after being stifled by their hosts who parked the bus. This is the obvious blueprint for David Moyes to follow here, especially given the limitations of his side and his natural tendency for caution. However, Arsenal’s struggles in breaking down well-organised teams has coincided with the absence of Santi Cazorla through injury and Arsene Wenger must hope the Spaniard is available again soon.
Arsenal followed up their frustrating draw at home to Middlesbrough with victory over Reading in the League Cup. They are now unbeaten in their last 13 matches across all competitions, winning eight of their last nine and have kept a clean sheet in seven of their last eight. Wenger rotated his team for the midweek game and so his players should be fresh for this weekend. Against a goal-shy Sunderland side, we’re backing Arsenal win to nil at 2.5.