Sunderland v Arsenal – Stadium of Light at 14:05 live on Sky Sports 1
Sunderland welcome Arsenal to the Stadium of Light this Sunday lunchtime and despite battling relegation, the Wearsiders would surely take a point heading into the match considering their poor record against the Gunners.
The Black Cats have not beaten Arsenal since 2009, with the north Londoners extending their unbeaten run against Sunderland to 12 matches. The hosts have also already lost against the Gunners twice this season at the Emirates int he league and FA Cup, going down 3-1 on both occasions.
It’s been another tough season for the Mackem’s, but this is the time of the year, when the chips are down, they hit a run of form and avoid the drop. With never before relegated Sam Allardyce at the helm, they just might do it again but it’s going to be a tough last 5 matches.
They currently sit in 18th, a point above Newcastle and a point behind Norwich, but with a game in hand over each. Last weeks win in the six-pointer over the Canaries has not only left them favourites out of the 3 teams to survive, but also bagged us with a nice profit, backing them +0.25 on the Asian Handicap betting market, and Over 2.5 goals.
The 3-0 win last Saturday would have boosted morale and confidence amongst the players and the fans and they will head into this match believing they can get something out of it. Even a point would put them above Norwich on goal difference.
It’s been another fairly typical season for Arsenal, and one they should once again finish in the top 4. In my opinion they have under-achieved this year, with other teams from the ‘big four’ not at the races, the Gunners could have and arguably should have been leading this years title race.
At times when they have had the opportunity to push forward they have quite simply bottled it and fans are becoming increasingly frustrated. Back to back draws with West Ham and Crystal Palace, from winning positioned had threatened their top 4 status, but Thursday’s 2-0 win over West Brom has lifted them into third, 2 points above City in 4th.
They are statistically in the the title race, but securing Champions League football has to be the only realistic priority left for Arsene Wenger.
The visitors are rightfully favourites here and despite their inconsistencies, they are the divisions third best away team. They have earned 12 more points on the road than Sunderland have at home and with their record against the Black Cats, the 1.80 on an away win looks on the long side to me.
Arsenal have scored an average of 1.88 goals per game in road league games this season and have scored 2 or more goals in 20 of their 34 BPL matches.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Arsenal -0.75 at 2.00
Prices correct at time of writing.
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