by Ian S. Palmer
Arsenal will be attempting to win their third-straight FA Cup in 2016 and start off their tournament by hosting fellow English Premier League club Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium in London this Saturday, January 9. The Gunners have a good shot at retaining the Cup this year and are also challenging for the Premier League title and will be facing Barcelona in the knockout stage of the European Champions League. Sunderland, on the other hand, are trying to stay out of the Premier League’s relegation zone. Arsenal enters this game following a 1-0 home league win over Newcastle last weekend. Sunderland’s last outing resulted in a 3-1 home victory over last-place Aston Villa.
Arsenal vs Sunderland – Pinnacle SOCCER BETTING LINE:
- Pinnacle currently lists Arsenal as the favorites at -400 with Sunderland +1200 and a draw at +575
Arsenal vs Sunderland – Head to Head
- Arsenal downed Sunderland 3-1 at the Emirates as recently as December 5th in league action. The two sides drew 0-0 in London in last year’s league campaign with Arsenal winning 2-0 in Sunderland. Overall, the two clubs have met each other 148 times in the past with Arsenal winning 59, losing 49 and drawing the other 40. Sunderland is winless in the last seven with five losses and two draws. Their last victory was a 2-0 FA Cup win in 2012. It’s their only win in the last 13 meetings and they’ve won just twice in the past 22 encounters. Sunderland beat Arsenal 2-1 in a 1961 FA Cup contest and again in 1973. The Gunners won 2-1 in 1991 and won a 2-0 replay in 1997 after they drew 1-1 in the first match.
Arsenal and Sunderland have met once this season already with the Gunners taking a 3-1 home win in Premier League play. Arsenal currently sits on top of the league standings with 42 points from 13wins, three draws and four losses. They’ve scored 34 goals and allowed 18 against. They’ve lost just once at home this campaign with seven victories and a pair of draws with 16 goals for and six against. Arsenal has posted five clean sheets in their 10 home contests and have been shut out twice. Overall, they have nine clean sheets and have failed to score on four occasions. They are unbeaten in their past six home fixtures with five wins and a draw.
Sunderland sits in 19th place in the 20-team Premier League with 15 points from four victories, three draws and 13 defeats. They’ve scored 22 times and allowed a league-high 39 against. The squad has just one win away from home this season to go along with a draw and eight defeats. They’ve scored 10 goals on the road, conceded 28 and have one clean sheet while being shut out four times. Overall, they have three clean sheets and have failed to score eight times. They’ve posted one win and five losses in their past six away matches.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to say just how seriously the managers of each team will take this clash since they may be focused on league play. The Gunners won’t have a full squad to choose from anyway since several players are still out with injuries such as midfielders Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshire as well as forwards Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck. However, there is a chance that Sanchez could be healed in time for the game. As far as Sunderland goes, manager Sam Allardyce will be without Jack Rodwell, Adam Matthews, Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Larsson.
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