Arsenal start their Premier League campaign this weekend with a home tie against Sunderland, with many hoping to see the Gunners’ new signings for the first time.
Sunderland have always been a team to give Arsenal a number of problems in recent seasons, specifically with games played at the Stadium of Light. However, Arsene Wenger’s side have not lost their opening league fixture in over 10 years and they are unlikely to start now.
Robin van Persie may have had his departure confirmed just a day before the game, but the focus is very much on the talents the club have acquired this summer. The Arsenal front line is a dynamic blend of power, pace and creativity, with very few likely to be drawn on van Persie’s sour last few months.
In Lukas Podolski, Arsenal have a player who can operate in a number of positions in attack. Armed with a thunderous left foot, the German international knows how to find the goal and has certainly sharpened the previously weak attack at the club.
Bet365 betting odds on this game:
2/5 Arsenal, 7/2 Draw, 15/2 Sunderland
Complimenting the former FC Koln captain is Olivier Giroud, who will also help to better the Arsenal attack of last season. Giroud was one of Ligue 1’s outstanding players last season, finishing joint-top scorer alongside PSG’s Nene.
Giroud is likely to lead the line for the home side with a kind of confidence that has been lost on a number of Arsenal’s forwards in the recent past.
We are hoping to see some of Theo Walcott in the season opener. The Arsenal forward has struggled with injury over the past week, but his pace and cutting edge in attack is sure to bring positive results.
There is a new kind of enthusiasm and drive around the Emirates Stadium ahead of the new season, despite the loss of the Gunners’ former captain.
Players like Santi Cazorla have added an injection of life the club desperately needed, and there’s no reason why a hungry Arsenal side can’t hit the ground running on Saturday at the Emirates.
But again, it’s worth pointing out that Sunderland and any Martin O’Neill side can be a real test for Arsenal. Sunderland’s new signing Louis Saha will join a number of former Manchester United teammates and is likely to lead the line against the Gunners.
Alongside Saha, Sunderland have added Carlos Cuellar to their squad, who could also figure on Saturday.
Unfortunately, it seems Sunderland are to be without Stephane Sessegnon due to injury, who had been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer. The visitors, however, are sure to find some form of inspiration from their combative captain Lee Cattermole.
Sunderland are sure to find some joy through Sebastian Larsson and any free kicks within range. The Gunners were burnt by their former player last season at home, as the Swede converted from a set piece just outside the box to draw level at 1-1. That game finished 2-1 to Arsenal, but this time around the Gunners will surely have much more chances to convert with their new signings.
Arsenal v Sunderland Betting Tips Verdict
Arsenal are without a number of key figures for their league opener. Laurent Koscielny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bacary Sagna are all out, with Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere also recovering from long-term injuries.
Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla will be the ones to watch for Arsenal. The Spaniard is undoubtedly the replacement for Cesc Fabregas’ creativity. Lukas Podolski already seems at home with his new team.
With the Arsenal dressing room lifted due to their summer signings, expect a win for the home side. Podolski may even add to his two goals scored in pre-season.