Arsenal’s fixture with Sunderland has been one of the most eagerly anticipated matches for the Arsenal fans for several years. The club’s poor start to the season has quickly been forgotten with four consecutive victories, Champions League qualification and the record signing of Real Madrid star Mesut Özil.
The German has widely been regarded as the best attacking midfielder in the world and many players, pundits and fans alike have questioned Madrid’s reasoning for selling him, including several of the Madrid players. The Gunners support has been lifted by the purchase and they have had just under two weeks for the feeling to sink in with every day offering even stronger optimism than the last.
Özil is expected to blow the Premier League away and he will get his first chance with an away trip to struggling Sunderland. The Black Cats have failed to win a game this season and that run could well be stretched with the visit of in-form Arsenal. The 24-year old’s performance for Germany against the Faroe Islands was phenomenal which hyped up his talent once again but there were questions whether he would start or not.
Injuries have almost single-handedly picked the Arsenal team and although Wenger may have been thinking about benching Özil, Tomas Rosicky’s thigh injury has guaranteed a full debut for the German. Özil is arguably the best player at the club and should be starting every game but it would be wise for the manager to ease him in but the absences of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski will see Santi Cazorla pushed out on the left and Rosicky’s withdrawal paves the way for Özil to step in the team. Theo Walcott also picked up a knock while playing for England but will be available for the trip up north.
The major decision for Wenger to make will be in central midfield where one of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Mathieu Flamini will have to make do with a place on the bench. Wilshere is probably the least fit out of the trio so it would make sense for him to be rested but Wenger likes to throw a surprise.