Arsenal v Sunderland – The Emirates at 19:45 live on Sky Sports 1

A crucial game in hand for both teams tomorrow night at the Emirates as Arsenal look to guarantee third place and Sunderland desperately try to scramble away from the relegation trap door by claiming the one point they need from either Arsenal tonight or at Chelsea on Sunday.

Arsene Wenger’s team were in danger of unravelling all their recent good work, as they were staring defeat in the face at Old Trafford at the weekend. But, a lucky Theo Walcott strike late in the game secured a vital draw for the Gunners which leaves them also needing just a point to effectively claim third place.

The North London club have again flattered to deceive during their Premier League campaign with pundits, fans and punters alike agreeing that they remain two or three players away from a title winning squad. In the past the club have continuously sold their best players, so improving the squad was always difficult.

Wenger no longer has to put up with such a handicap on his squad development plans but still the Gunners have failed to mount a meaningful tilt at the title. The signs were looking good from the turn of the year but it was their slow start to the season which ultimately cost them in the end.

Arsenal have been magnificent this term against teams in the bottom half of the table, with sixteen wins and two draws from their eighteen games against teams placed eleventh or below so far this season. Plus, they have scored twenty three goals in the eight home games played against bottom half sides.

Sunderland have had a fairly typical season by their standards, having looked doomed to relegation from August to April and then suddenly finding some great form in the last six weeks of the campaign.

We profited from this amazing turnaround just over a week ago, when recommending the Black Cats +0.75 away at Everton and with a draw suiting both sides perhaps a similar bet would pay off in this match as well.

But, that Sunderland win at Everton was just their third victory on the road all season and when playing against teams from the top six, their record does not make pleasant reading for Asian handicap betting punters.

Dick Advocaat’s side have picked up just four draws from the ten games they have played against teams in the top six of the league. Away from home their only point came from a 0-0 draw at Liverpool back in December.

The main Asian handicap betting line for the game tomorrow is currently around 1.5 but there is value on the underdog’s here and while they are on a run of four without loss, it makes sense to back them again tomorrow to at least keep the score close.

Despite Sunderland not winning many away games they have still been hard to beat in the majority of their road trips. They have only lost by two or more goals twice in eighteen games away from home.

Plus, with Arsenal’s vulnerability clearly demonstrated in the loss at home against Swansea and again at Old Trafford, Sunderland will be quietly confident of pushing the Gunners all the way on Wednesday night.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Sunderland +1.5 at 2.12

Prices correct at the time of writing.

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