Arsène Wenger's side will be hoping to get back to winning ways On Wearside this saturday when they face Roy Keane's Sunderland.This season Arsenal.com will be identifying the key battles for the game. We will bring you all the statistics and information a fan could need so swot up now and come Saturday you will be impressing anyone who will listen with your new-found knowledge.
Djibril Cisse v William Gallas
More than a few eyebrows were raised when Roy Keane swooped to secure a season-long loan deal for Djibril Cisse but the enigmatic Frenchman has looked the part in his five appearances. A horrific injury and off-field problems may have discouraged some managers from taking a risk on Cisse but it has paid off so far with two goals in his 334 minutes on the pitch. Explosive pace, power and an eagle-eye for goal make the 27-year-old a handful for any defence and he will be up against a fellow Frenchman on Saturday. Captain William Gallas has not missed a moment for Arsenal this season and his 25 completed passes have cemented his status as a ball-playing centre-half. Nine clearances reflect his sometimes ‘no nonsense’ style at the back and it is this adaptability that can stop any would-be goalscorer in their tracks.
|Djibril Cisse||William Gallas|
|Passes not completed||11||5|
|Shots off target||4||3|
|Shots on target||9||2|
Craig Gordon v Manuel Almunia
Craig Gordon and Manuel Almunia have both played all six games this season but despite similar stats in most areas, the Spaniard has conceded half as many goals as the Scot. Gordon became Britain’s most expensive goalkeeper in 2007 when Sunderland paid £9million for his services and it looks like money well spent. Exceptional reflexes, agility and handling have made Gordon one of the Premier League’s brightest goalkeeping talents and at 25 years of age there is more to come from Scotland’s No 1. Geovanni’s thunderbolt on September 27 is the only goal that Almunia has conceded from open play this season and the Spaniard averages one clean sheet every two games with just four goals conceded in six Premier League fixtures.
|Craig Gordon||Manuel Almunia|
Nyron Nosworthy v Robin van Persie
Nyron Nosworthy was originally signed as a right-back but has since established himself as a genuine centre-half playing every minute so far this season. On Saturday he might be left longing for the relative safety of his former position as he comes up against Robin van Persie. The Dutchman has scored three Premier League goals and travels to the Stadium of Light fresh off the back of his European brace against Porto. The striker has tried his luck 22 times in 348 minutes, 16 of these have tested the keeper and one of them struck the woodwork. The 25-year-old was rested for the last away League game at Bolton so will be raring to go if selected on Wearside. Nosworthy is yet to have a shot on goal this season and may find himself a little pre-occupied in defence to try and change that statistic this weekend.
|Nyron Nosworthy||Robin van Persie|
|Passes not completed||10||9|
|Shots off target||0||13|
|Shots on target||0||9|