Sunderland v Arsenal – PROVISIONAL SQUADS
The fact that Sunderland’s cause is greater could prove to be the difference here.
Both teams have underperformed when judged on the quality they are able to put on the field. Sunderland have spent double that of Leicester in the last five years.
That is perhaps a blinkered comparison – the thriftiness of Leicester’s recent trajectory is startling. But the point is valid: £120m+ should buy you more than a relegation scrap.
They are putting up a fight though. Big Sam Allardyce’s obdurate football has slowed the defeats and increased the draws. But now, he needs to add a sprinkling of wins to complete the job. Three from the last five would do.
Arsenal’s recent away form matches their hosts almost exactly: (W2 D4 L2) v (W2 D3 L3). It’s one of the reasons their only incentive here is a top-four place. Fourth from bottom would do Sunderland nicely!
Ospina, Cech, Monreal, Gibbs, Gabriel, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Bellerin, Ramsey, Elneny, Wilshere, Ozil, Reine-Adelaide, Iwobi, Sanchez, Campbell, Walcott, Welbeck, Giroud.
Mannone, Pickford, Van Aanholt, Yedlin, O’Shea, Jones, Kone, Kaboul, Brown, Kirchhoff, Cattermole, M’Vila, Khazri, Borini, Rodwell, Toivonen, Larsson, Defoe, N’Doye, Watmore.