It’s back to business as usual with the international break now over and the Premier League set to resume. Prior to the international break, the last day of the transfer window provided a massive surprise to Arsenal fans with the acquisition of Mesut Ozil who we are all egging to see make his debut. Hopefully he has Sunderland shaking in their boots!
Coming out of the international break, reports suggested that Arsene would be sweating on the fitness of numerous players. However, Arsene has confirmed that Tomas Rosicky is the only casualty from the international break with the Czech succumbing to a thigh strain. Wilshere and Walcott are set to start despite picking up knocks, while the absence of Rosicky increases the odds of Ozil making his debut.
Speaking of Ozil, there are doubts over his availability after the German missed training owing to illness. Presumably, if fit, the German will surely start with Cazorla shifting out to the left. The remainder of the team essentially picks itself, unless Wenger decides to throw Flamini into the fray after the Frenchman’s great outing against the Spuds at the expense of Wilshere, whom Arsene says is not quite a peak fitness at this stage.
However, if Ozil isn’t available there are concerns over who will play on the left. With Podolski and Chamberlain out it is likely the Gibbs may have to be pushed further up the field with Monreal sitting at left-back. Primarily as left-backs they can play interchangeably whatever the situation.
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Looking at the other side of the pitch, Sunderland have not had the best of starts to the season. Paolo di Canio made wholesale changes to the squad this season and at this stage it seems the team has yet to gel having only picked up a solitary point in three games. Arsenal therefore go into the clash heavy favourites and should definitely pick up all three points!
Overall, it weighs up to be favourable conditions for Arsenal and should be a good opportunity for Mesut Ozil to make a successful debut. The Black Cats are sure to provide some good competition, but based on previous results and the fact that the Arsenal players will be eager to impress their new signing, the Gunners should comfortably come out with all three points.
Sagna Koscielny Mertesacker (c) Gibbs
Sunderalnd 0 Arsenal 2