Arsene Wenger hands Premier League debuts to two of his summer signings, while former Montpellier man Olivier Giroud starts on the benchArsenal manager Arsene Wenger has handed debuts to Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski in the opening day clash with Sunderland.
Olivier Giroud, a summer signing from Montpellier, has to make do with a spot on the bench.
With Bacary Sagna still recovering from a broken leg, Carl Jenkinson starts the season as first choice right-back.
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For the visitors, new signing Louis Saha starts his Sunderland career on the bench, as Stephane Sessegnon plays just off lone front man Frazier Campbell.
Carlos Cuellar – snapped up from Aston Villa – goes straight into the starting lineup, as Martin O’Neill otherwise sticks with a familiar squad from last term.
Arsenal starting XI: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Diaby, Arteta; Cazorla, Walcott, Gervinho; Podolski.
Subs: Mannone, Djourou, Coquelin, Santos, Ramsey, Arshavin, Giroud.
Sunderland starting XI: Mignolet; Colback, O'Shea, Cuellar, Richardson; Larsson, Cattermole, Gardner, McClean; Sessegnon; Campbell.
Subs: Wickham, Kilgallon, Meyler, Bramble, Saha, Elmohamady, Westwood.