Arsenal vs Sunderland: Starting XI – Koscielny and Alexis OUT, Giroud START

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Arsenal will monitor top scorer Alexis Sanchez, who suffered a kick to the thigh at Stoke.

Laurent Koscielny could miss out after suffering a recurrence of a calf problem so as Alexis Sanchez – who was seen limping at the end of the match after he took a knock around the hour mark, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains out with a hamstring injury.

Sunderland pair Jason Denayer and Victor Anichebe are doubts with respective thigh and hamstring problems.

Arsene Wenger said ahead of the game against relegated Sunderland:

“Our chances depend on winning our games. We have 69 points, we can get to 75. That will be four points more than last year, so let’s focus on finishing as well as we can.

“We have created a momentum again. We had a difficult period and we recovered from it. The only chance we have to be in the top four is to win our games.”

Head-to-head

Sunderland havae never won at Arsenal in the Premier League (D5, L10). Their last league victory away to the Gunners was in November 1983.

Arsenal are unbeaten in 14 league meetings home and away and have only lost one of the last 26 top-flight encounters (W16, D9).

Arsenal

Arsenal’s only defeat in their last 16 Premier League home games came against Watford on 31 January (W12, D3).

The Gunners have won three successive league matches at the Emirates Stadium, keeping clean sheets in all of them.

They have gone 318 minutes without conceding at home since Sergio Aguero’s strike for Manchester City in a 2-2 draw on 2 April.

Victory would be Arsene Wenger’s 20th victory in all competitions against David Moyes – more than any other manager he’s faced with Arsenal.

Olivier Giroud has scored four times in his last four games in all competitions against Sunderland, including twice as substitute in the reverse fixture, when he netted with his first two touches.

Giroud is two short of 100 goals for Arsenal in all competitions.

Sunderland

The Black Cats could win back-to-back Premier League away games for the first time since April 2014, when they beat Chelsea and then Manchester United as part of their ‘Great Escape’.

Sunderland have failed to score in 19 Premier League matches this season, more than any other side – they last failed to score in more in a league season in 2002-03 (20 games).

Jermain Defoe has failed to score in nine previous appearances at the Emirates Stadium in all competitions.

His only previous goal away to Arsenal came in West Ham’s 3-1 defeat at Highbury in January 2003.

 

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