There used to be a time when Arsenal wouldn’t drop 14 points until Christmas had arrived although the Gunners are a team in transition and 15th place in the Premier League tells you everything you need to know about their current plight.
In fairness, three of their opponents have been Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham, although there has also been a 4-3 defeat at Blackburn and Arsene Wenger needs his team to start gelling after such a mediocre start.
Paddy Power (£100 free bets) offer 4/9 that the north London side land victory on Sunday against a Sunderland team that looked very ordinary when losing 2-1 at Norwich in their last away game.
The Gunners boast one of the best strikers in the division and Robin Van Persie can be backed at 10/3 (Ladbrokes – free betting) to put his team into the lead just as he did during the team’s last Premier League match at the Emirates.
Midfielder Aaron Ramsey (12/1) has also been stepping up to the plate recently with goals and the Welsh international is clearly relishing the challenge of trying to replace Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.
Sunderland have not been very good on the road since Steve Bruce has been in charge at the Stadium of Light and it is difficult to see them landing their first away win this weekend, especially as Nicklas Bendtner can’t play against his parent club.
However, many will not regard Arsenal as banker material in their current form and the Black Cats are 3/1 to land a draw and 15/2 to claim a victory which would lead many to question the position of Wenger as manager of the Gunners.
Even so, Arsenal should really have taken a point from their match at White Hart Lane a fortnight ago and the 11/10 (bet365) about them leading at half-time and full-time looks a price worth taking.