Friday, September 17, 2010

Match Preview - Sunderland v Arsenal

Last year, we came into this match at the Stadium of Light on good form, winning all our matches since the early season defeats to both Manchester clubs. However, Sunderland stop us dead in our tracks and we lose 0-1 with Darren Bent scoring the only goal. This was also the first game of the season where we failed to score, a testament to the team that Steve Bruce has built since he came into the job.

This weekend we return to Sunderland in similar circumstances. We are in good form, second in the table unbeaten so far in the season and off  to a brilliant start in the Champions League.  So, I am hoping that history do not repeat itself and we can maintain carry on our unbeaten streak.

This match will again be another test of character for the boys and in particular the defense, which has stood up so far. As TV4 is still fighting to be fit for the match, I reckon Arsene will again go with the all French defense he employed in mid-week. Gael Clichy who has come in for some early season criticism for his lacklustre start was brilliant in the game against Braga.

We don't have any new injuries at the moment so we can field an unchanged side for the match. However I do foresee some changes. I predict Denilson will come in for Wilshere while possible Rosicky on for Arshavin. The Russian did not have a great game on Wednesday but he somehow managed a goal and two assists in 70 minutes.

Under Steve Bruce, Sunderland was become a tenacious side, playing impressive football. Going forward they have the twin threat of Bent and new signing Asamoah Gyan, while the defense marshaled by John Mensah and Titus Bramble has done a good job so far this season, conceding only 4 goals in 4 matches. They have an injury doubt in Mensah while their skipper Lee Cattermole while be missing through suspension.

Last year  was our first away defeat to Sunderland in 10 years so it's time to start a new streak this time around

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