Arsenal captain Vermaelen looking forward to Sunderland challenge

The 27-year-old believes the Black Cats have more technical ability than previous opponents Stoke, and is expecting a difficult 90 minutes against Martin O'Neill's side
Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen admits Arsenal could be in for a tough test when they take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

The Black Cats have enjoyed a good run against the Gunners, including a goalless opening day draw and dumping them out of the FA Cup at the fifth round stage last season.
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Arsene Wenger's men defeated Stoke last time out, courtesy of a late winner from Lukas Podolski in a hard-fought contest, and Vermaelen is expecting the same from Sunderland.

He told the club's official website: “Sunderland away is always a tough game. I think we did well in the first game of the season at home against Sunderland. We couldn’t score but we were the better team and had the better chances.

“I think Sunderland has a little bit more technical quality than Stoke. Stoke was always a difficult game.

“We were the better side all over the game [last weekend]. We had a few chances in the first half, but it’s difficult against them. They defend well and they’re strong. In the end I’m happy we could get the goal.”