If Sunderland are to get their first win of the season against Arsenal they’ll have to defy the odds and produce a performance they haven’t managed up to now.
Arsene Wenger’s side are better than any team we’ve played at home which is daunting considering we have drawn one and lost three so far.
David Moyes will know his team will see little of the ball as the Gunner’s strength is keping possession and they have the patience to knock it around until the killer pass is on.
Sunderland will have to be prepared for a long, tough afternoon, chasing and closing down and they will have to graft, sweat buckets and hope work-rate can make up for Arsenal’s superior technical quality.
These are sort of games the Black Cats can’t afford to carry passengers and if there are any players not up for it or don’t fancy giving 100% then we’ll almost certainly lose.
So the smart money will be on an away victory but as everyone knows, football doesn’t always go to form but, usually, if an upset is to happen it’s because the underdogs have a greater desire and play to their absolute maxiumum.
And that’s what Sunderland must do on Saturday.
The Black Cats have got to start making home advantage count and on these occasions the crowd can have a major effect and our fans are always up for it if they see the team are as well.
Sunderland though, after that shattering defeat at West Ham are fragile, but they have to give the fans something to get behind. No-one will go to the Stadium of Light expecting the home side to outplay the Gunners but they will expect, and demand, that the players work hard and out-fight them.
Before that game, there is an EFL Cup tie at Sunderland tomorrow – a draw that did us no favours.
Geographically, it could not be worse for the fans and the Saints are strong at St Mary’s, but we got our one point on the road there this season so maybe we can go one better in this match and give everyone a boost.