Arsenal travel up to the Northeast today to take on a Sunderland team that are languishing in the doldrums at the bottom of the Premier League table, but it is worth remembering that at the end of last season they were also in a bad place, but still managed to hold the Gunners to a draw.
So this weekend’s View From The Enamy comes from the official Sunderland AFC website, written by OSCAR CHAMBERLAIN……
Sunderland will resume their Premier League campaign on Saturday against Arsenal at the Stadium of Light (KO 12.30pm).
The Black Cats, who are searching for their first top-flight win of the campaign, will be hoping to bounce back from their EFL Cup exit on Wednesday, with Sofiane Boufal’s wonder strike securing a narrow win for Saints.
And it was a similar story for the Lads in their last league outing at West Ham United as a positive performance was undone by Winston Reid’s stoppage-time winner.
Likewise, Arsenal endured a frustrating outing against Middlesbrough one week ago as they were held to a draw, but they did return to winning ways midweek as victory over Reading saw Arsene Wenger’s side secure a place in the EFL Cup quarter finals.
Despite the draw against Boro the Gunners have enjoyed a positive start to the season and they currently sit joint-top of the Premier League.
Only Manchester City top the Londoners – on goal difference – with Wenger’s side also topping their UEFA Champions League group as they continue to battle on all fronts.
On the road they are unbeaten in the Premier League since February but the Black Cats enjoyed success in their last meeting, with the Gunners held to a goalless draw at the SoL in April.
John O’Shea and Lamine Kone formed the centre back pairing that day and they’re likely to do so this weekend, with the former rested for the Lads’ trip to the south coast.
Steven Pienaar and Jermain Defoe, who both came off the bench, are also expected to be recalled.
On-loan Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj is also pushing for a place in the squad having returned to training, but David Moyes admits the game could come too soon for fellow Belgian Jason Denayer.
Vito Mannone, Lee Cattermole, Jan Kirchhoff, Seb Larsson and Fabio Borini remain unavailable.
Arsenal will be without Lucas Perez with Nacho Monreal, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott facing late fitness checks, but Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud are available.
So not a lot of opinion there, they are obviously trying to avoid any negative ideas ahead of the game! But David Moyes is quite happy to say that nobody expects his team to get anything out of today’s match, but he is hoping that the home support can galvanize them into punching above their weight.
Here is David Moyes preview of the game…….
David Moyes has challenged his players to create a cauldron of noise when Sunderland host Arsenal on Saturday (KO 12.30pm).
The Black Cats have been backed by stellar support on the road in recent weeks, but little compares to the wall of noise that greets the players when they exit the tunnel at the Stadium of Light.
The Gunners are unbeaten on the road since February but during that run they were stifled by Sunderland who battled tirelessly to earn a goalless draw.
And speaking pre-match Moyes stated it is up to the players to get the fans off their seats.
“At every ground we go to we feel like we have our supporters.
“I think we’ve got nearly 45,000 at the game tomorrow so the people of Sunderland continually support their team home and away, so that tells you about the size of the club, the club’s history and the people.
“The Premier League are lucky to have a club like Sunderland who get 45,000 fans at most home games,” continued Moyes.
“I think the most important thing is to get the fans in full voice because if we get that it’s a great place – people tell me about Chelsea last season when there was an incredible atmosphere – but what we do on the pitch will make that happen.
“We need to give them something to shout about.
“It’s an incredibly big challenge but a good one; I always like to play against the top teams because if shows where you have to get to and the standard you need to be at.
“I don’t think many people expect us to get anything from the game so it gives us a chance to go and play in that fashion, and see if we can get a result.”
Sunderland played their hearts out in last season’s fixture, can they cause another shock this afternoon?