Arsenal are unbeaten in 11 Premier League games against Sunderland going into Saturday’s latest encounter at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal are hopeful that Laurent Koscielny will be fit to start despite suffering a hip injury in last weekend’s draw at Norwich City. Theo Walcott could also return to the squad, but Arsene Wenger has confirmed reports that Santi Cazorla could be out until March.
The likes of Francis Coquelin, Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta also remain out.
Sunderland are without Jermain Defoe, who suffered a hamstring injury in last weekend’s win over Stoke City, and Sebastian Larsson, who has a knee problem. Billy Jones is available again, however, following a suspension.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League clashes with Sunderland (W7 D4) and have suffered defeat in just one of the last 23.
- On home soil, the Gunners are yet to lose to the Black Cats in the Premier League (W9 D5), although four of the last seven top-flight meetings at the Emirates have ended 0-0.
- Indeed, that total of four home goalless draws is the most by Arsenal against any opponent in the Gunners’ Premier League history.
- Olivier Giroud has had a hand in five goals in his five Premier League appearances against Sunderland (three goals, two assists).
- Sunderland have now won as many league games in six games under Sam Allardyce as they did in 17 matches under Dick Advocaat (3).
- However, Allardyce has lost seven successive Premier League games against Arsenal and hasn’t beaten the Gunners in the competition since May 2010 (Blackburn 2-1 Arsenal).
- Arsenal have now gone three games without a Premier League win (D2 L1) – they last went four games without tasting victory last April.
- Mesut Ozil and Santiago Cazorla have exchanged passes 339 times this season in the top-flight, 40 more than any other combination between two players.
- Ozil has had a hand in 13 goals in his last 12 Premier League appearances (two goals, 11 assists).
- Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantillimon has made a league-high 59 saves this season in the Premier League.