|English Premier League 2014-15|
ScheduleSaturday, 25 October 2014 at 14:00 GMT / 15:00 UK / 19:30 IST
VenueStadium of Light (Sunderland)
Next Saturday, 25th of October 2014, a fragilized Sunderland will take on Arsenal at the Stadium of Light for round nine of the English Premier League, a match during which the home side needs to do the best they can to compensate their supporters for the humiliating defeat they suffered last week at the hands of Southampton.
Sunderland’s players, coaching staff and supporters are certainly still trying to understand what happened last weekend when they visited St. Mary’s Stadium. The Black Cats were severely hammered 8-0 by an overwhelming Southampton, which is by far one of the most interesting teams of the EPL so far, and a defeat such as that might leave some open wounds in a team that has only obtained their first win of the season precisely on the match before the clash against the Saints.
Everyone at Sunderland is certainly embarrassed over what happened last weekend, and although their season start was far from being impressive, no one was surely expecting such a heavy defeat. Gus Poyet was floored at the end of the match and he wasn’t able to find many words to explain the storm that hit his team: "After that, I can't explain what happened. I will let the players explain to you, maybe they will have better words. I don't."
Having to face Arsenal after such a turmoil is apparently not the best way to recover the team’s motivation levels, since another defeat may further deepen Sunderland’s already complicated problems. Nevertheless, in case of win, the embarrassing 8-0 might quickly become part of the past and the Black Cats’ boss certainly knows that and he also knows how to fire-up his players to snatch a positive result against the Gunners.
As for Arsenal, the London giants are once again far from having a dream start at the EPL and the last time they’ve won a match on domestic competitions was already more than a month ago. In fact, the Gunners’ two last wins were for the UEFA Champions League, where the team managed to bounce back after their defeat with Dortmund on the group stage’s opening match.
Last weekend, Arsene Wenger’s boys were almost surprised at home by a mighty Hull City and if it wasn’t for a Danny Welbeck late goal, the Gunners would have experienced the taste of defeat at home for the first time this season.
Despite both sides’ poor moment on domestic competition, Arsenal enjoy from a slight favouritism for next Saturday’s match, especially if they manage to snatch an early goal that might precipitate Sunderland’s complete crumble.
Stats: W-1 L-2 D-2
Recent Form - LWDLD
Stats: W-2 L-1 D-2
Recent Form - WDLWD
Sunderland (4-4-1-1) – Mannone - Brown - Vergini - O’Shea - van Aanholt - Cattermole - Larsson - Johnson - Gomez - Fletcher - Wickham
Arsenal (4-2-3-1) – Szczesny - Chambers - Mertesacker - Monreal - Gibbs - Cazorla - Flamini - Ramsey - Wilshere - Sánchez - Welbeck