Arsène Wenger's side have lost just one of their last 17 league games against the Black Cats, while manager Martin O'Neill has not enjoyed a happy record against his French counterpart over the years.
The Ulsterman has only won one of 16 Premier League meetings between the pair as a manager (W1 D6 L9), although that came in a 2-0 victory at the Emirates with Aston Villa in November 2008.
That may suggest Wenger has the upper hand on O'Neill, as was the case when Arsenal beat Sunderland 2-1 both home and away in the league last season. That scoreline is 83/10 with GunnersGaming, but the Football Predictor suggests Arsenal will win 2-0.
However, we fancy Arsenal to win by a more emphatic scoreline despite this week's imminent departure of Robin van Persie to Manchester United.
The Frenchman has the physical presence to cause the Sunderland backline problems, and one of his major strengths is his aerial presence. That may well prove a major asset in this clash given that 28 per cent of the goals Sunderland conceded last season were headers - the highest proportion in the top flight.
Arsenal to score first at 4/7 looks an informed bet as the stats reveal that Arsenal are traditionally quick out of the blocks and scored more goals in the opening 15 minutes than any other team in the 2011-12 Premier League (12).
Finally, GunnersGaming have been running a campaign on to Twitter to see what specials fans would like to see. How about Arsenal winning more trophies than Manchester United this season, available at 3/1?
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