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|Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy; Diaby, Wilshere; Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin; Bendtner.
|Sunderland: Mignolet; Ferdinand, Bramble, Mensah, Bardsley; Henderson, Muntari; Elmohamady, Richardson, Sessegnon; Gyan.
- Arsenal have not lost a single Premier League game this year, and are currently on an unbeaten run of 10 league games.
- They have also won their last four league games at the Emirates Stadium, scoring eight goals in the process.
- Five of those were scored by Robin van Persie, who is unavailable for this game due to an injury he sustained against Birmingham City in the final of the League Cup – which ended 2-1 in in favour of Alex McLeish’s side.
- The Gunners have scored 57 goals in the top-flight this season, and only Manchester United (62) have scored more.
- A victory for Arsene Wenger’s charges would see them pile the pressure on United, as the distance between the two sides would be reduced to a single point ahead of the league leaders’ trip to Liverpool on Sunday.
- Sunderland have never beaten the north London club at the Emirates Stadium.
- In fact, apart from a victory at the Stadium of Light in 2009, the Black Cats have not managed to beat the Gunners since August 2000, when a header from Niall Quinn against his former club was enough to seal a victory.
- Steve Bruce’s men have lost their last four games, conceding 11 goals in the process.
- Asamoah Gyan is the club’s top scorer in the league this season, having hit the back of the net on nine occasions so far.
- In contrast, Lee Cattermole has been sent off twice and has seen seven yellow cards this campaign.
September 18, 2010: Sunderland 1-1 Arsenal
The Gunners took an early lead after defender Anton Ferdinand dillied and dallied until midfielder Cesc Fabregas was too close, and the Spaniard put a foot out to block the long pass. And what he got in return was a goal, as the ball struck his foot and ballooned over goalkeeper Simon Mignolet from close to 40-yards out.
But the freak incident also saw Fabregas being injured, which probably began the problematic injury issues that the skipper has had to deal with since.
The Black Cats were trailing for a vast majority of the game, but a last ditch goal from striker Darren Bent - who has since move to Aston Villa – meant that points were shared at the Stadium of Light.