Sunderland v Arsenal: O’Neill to continue resurgence of hosts
Given the impact that Martin O’Neill has made at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland’s odds of 5/2 to win at home to Arsenal look too good to turn down.
Arsenal go into the clash at the Stadium of Light looking to halt an awful run of away form in the Premier League which has seen them win just one of their last five fixtures on the road.
Meanwhile, out of the teams currently situated in the top half of the Premier League standings, only Swansea have lost more away games than the six defeats suffered by Arsenal on the road.
Sunderland on the other hand have been rejuvenated under O’Neill, with no team picking up more points than The Black Cats in the ten matches since he took charge.
Further facts that enhance Sunderland’s cause are that only Blackburn have conceded more away goals than Arsenal in the league this season, while O’Neill has witnessed his team let in just seven goals in his time in charge.
O’Neill’s record against Arsenal from his time managing Aston Villa was fairly impressive, losing just three of eight meetings home and away, despite finishing below them in the league in each of his four seasons at the club.
Arsenal have also struggled on recent trips to the Stadium of Light, winning just one of four visits since Sunderland returned to the Premier League.
With Arsenal facing a crucial Champions League fixture away to AC Milan just three days after this clash, Arsene Wenger may be keen to rest some of his stars for this match which would play into Sunderland’s hands.
Sebastian Larsson will be keen to strike against his former club and 12/1 looks a good bet in the Premier League odds that he opens the scoring, having scored one of his five league goals this season in the fixture between the sides at the Emirates earlier in the season.
Punters fancying Arsenal to open the scoring will find it difficult to look past Robin Van Persie at 3/1, who has scored 20 goals in his last 21 away league fixtures and has opened the scoring in five of Arsenal’s last ten league fixtures.