Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.

Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson will give his pre-match view and you can get his post-match verdict in our Talking Tactics feature on Arsenal Player.

Arsène Wenger and his side host Sunderland in the Premier League on Sunday so, to find out more, we also asked journalist Graeme Anderson for his thoughts and analysis.

Stewart Robson

"Sunderland have got big problems for this game. Without Nicklas Bendtner to lead their attack only Connor Wickham or Ji Dong-Won can lead the line. Having seen Wickham this season he is struggling to cope with better quality defenders.

"The biggest threat to Arsenal could come from the former Birmingham players, Sebastian Larsson and Craig Gardner. Larsson can cause problems with his excellent right foot, Gardener is a danger with his forceful running."

Scouting Report - Tactics

"Sunderland's formation varies between 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 but against Arsenal it will be the latter. They would have used Bendtner up front this weekend but instead it looks like they will probably go for Sessegnon on his own instead.

"There has been talk about Ji [Dong-Won] starting on his own up front but the more likely man is Sessegnon. Steve Bruce is currently in South Korea so he is more likely to say Ji will start up front. I think in the summer he was talking to Korean journalists and said he would start against Liverpool but that never happened.

"Sessegnon is not a traditional centre forward but he is very mobile, has a good eye for goal and his work rate is excellent. There is probably going to be a five-man midfield which means Sebastian Larsson going onto the wing, despite the fact he is not traditionally a winger. If he plays there that allows Bruce to accommodate El-Mohamadi on the right, who had a very good game against West Brom.

"You have to say that the parts are greater than the sum at the moment. Individually they have got some very good players. They have taken Wes Brown and John O'Shea from Manchester United, players who are not past their best. They are both 30 years old and both still have a lot of quality. But there are a number of others too who are full internationals: Sessegnon, Larsson, El-Mohamadi and Vaughan for example.

"There is no doubting their quality, it is just a question of trying to make them gel. Steve Bruce signed 11 players during the close season and at the moment they still don’t know what their best line-up is.

"They do have a good midfield and now have strength in depth too. Last season it was a lack of depth that cost them, which was why we saw so many bodies go through the door this season. They were in the top six right up until Christmas and when the injuries started to hit they were not able to keep it going."

    Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
    13 Oct 2011