Match facts, team news and quotes ahead of the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Sunderlandat the Emirates Stadium.
Bacary Sagna’s ankle injury sustained against Tottenham means he has joined Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby and Thomas Vermaelenon the injury list, but defenders Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny are available.
Sunderland will be without striker Nicklas Bendtner. The Denmark international is ineligible under the terms of his loan agreement with the Gunners and that could present an opportunity to summer signings Connor Wickham, who has recovered from a groin problem, and Ji Dong-won. Full-back Phil Bardsley completes his four-match ban andTitus Bramble is suspended pending police and club investigations while Craig Gordonand Fraizer Campbell (both knee) continue to work their way back to fitness.
Arsene Wenger: “Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has exceeded our expectations, I did not expect him to start so quickly. I don’t rule him out of Euro 2012 because he has the basic talent.”
Steve Bruce: “We’re capable of getting a result – of course we are – but we have to play well as a team. If we sit back and defend against Arsenal, eventually they will get a chance so we can’t do that. Like any big game we have to impose ourselves and get at them, and we’ve got players who are capable of doing so.”
There have only been eight goals scored in the last seven Premier League matches between Arsenal and Sunderland.
Arsenal have won seven and drawn three of their 10 home Premier League matches against Sunderland and the Black Cats have failed to score in their last three visit to the Emirates.
Only one of the 13 goals Sunderland have scored against Arsenal in the Premier League era has been netted in the first half.
Robin van Persie has scored 21 goals in 24 Premier League games in 2011 and three in three home appearances against Sunderland.
Arsenal have won just four of their last 18 Premier League matches (W4 D7 L7).
The Gunners have kept nine clean sheets in their last 13 Premier League games at the Emirates Stadium, including one in a 0-0 draw with Sunderland in March.
No team with fewer than eight points after seven games has finished in the top four in the Premier League era – highest was 5th (3 teams).
Sunderland’s clean sheet last season at the Emirates was one of just four in their last 23 Premier League matches.
Since the start of February, Sunderland have only once gone two league games without defeat.
Arsenal have conceded 16 goals so far this season, more than in any season since 1963-64 when they had shipped 20 after seven matches.