Stephane Sessegnon

Preview: Sunderland v Arsenal

by Ashley Houghton

A look ahead to Saturday's game at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland host Arsenal this weekend at the Stadium of Light and the Black Cats will be looking to repeat a recent run of good results against the Gunners.

Last time Arsene Wenger’s side visited the SoL they were knocked out of the FA Cup with Budweiser by a revitalised Sunderland side following the appointment of Martin O’Neill as manager.

Goals from Kieran Richardson and an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain own goal earned the Black Cats a 2-0 victory and a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

The victory came after Arsenal had secured a victory in the league the previous week, winning 2-1 thanks to a late goal from Thierry Henry.

Despite preventing Arsenal from scoring in the two previous contests between the two sides, the Black Cats will be looking to add to a win ratio of two wins in ten games against the Gunners at the SoL.

Recent home form suggests that Sunderland have a chance of doing so with three wins in their last five home league games, conceding only twice in that period.

The visitors lie sixth in the Barclays Premier League, four points behind rivals Tottenham Hotspur in fourth place, whilst Sunderland sit in 12th place looking to leapfrog Stoke City and West Ham and move into the top half of the table.

New Black Cats signing Danny Graham is fit and available to make his home debut and he’ll be looking to score his first goal for his new club against an Arsenal side he is no stranger to scoring against. The 27-year-old earned his former side Swansea a draw with the Gunners with a late equaliser in January’s FA Cup Third Round tie at the Liberty Stadium.


Arsenal have conceded 62% of their goals in the first half of games - a league high proportion - and conceded fewer in total after the break than any other team (11).

Just three of Arsenal’s 23 attempts at goal were on target as they drew 0-0 with Sunderland in the reverse fixture at the Emirates earlier this season.

The Gunners have lost just one of their last nine trips to the north east in the Premier League (W3 D5 L1).
Arsenal have won 10 and lost just one of their last 18 Premier League games against Sunderland, but they did lose in last season’s FA Cup against the Wearsiders at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland’s Danny Rose scored his one and only Premier League goal with a tremendous volley on his Barclays Premier League debut against Arsenal while playing for Tottenham.