Sunderland have managed to overcome a tough Middlesborough side to win 2-1 in extra time in the FA Cup fourth round replay. The win sets up a second visit to the Stadium of Light for Arsenal in the space of a week.
The manner of the match will give the Gunners an advantage for this weekend’s Premier League clash, with Sunderland forced to field a strong side with the likes of Sessegno, Gardner and the entire first choice backline playing 120 minutes. The North London side will then visit Sunderland at home again a week later on 18th February but this comes after an extremely tough trip to Italy to face AC Milan.
Will the Gunners have enough in the tank to beat AC Milan in midweek and Sunderland on the 18th? Next week will be a challenging and important time that could alter the course of the season. Surely Wenger will have to rotate players in either or both of the Sunderland fixtures.