Friday, 8th February, 2013

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has told his team-mates to expect a tough game this weekend when they visit Sunderland.

The Gunners make the trip north to the Stadium of Light with three-point hauls crucial at this stage of the campaign.

The position of Arsene Wenger’s men as a top four side is under threat in the current campaign, with a gap of four points to fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur to make up at present.

Three points at Sunderland tomorrow would definitely please Wenger, but Belgian defender Vermaelen believes that the task is sure to be a tough one.

"Sunderland away is always a tough game", he told his club’s official site.


"I think we did well in the first game of the season at home against Sunderland. We couldn’t score but we were the better team and had the better chances", continued the Belgian.

"I think Sunderland have a little bit more technical quality than Stoke. Stoke were always a difficult game.

"We were the better side all over the game [last weekend]. We had a few chances in the first half, but it’s difficult against them. They defend well and they’re strong. In the end I’m happy we could get the goal."

Earlier this season Sunderland visited the Emirates Stadium and held Arsenal to a 0-0 draw.

The same result again would surely suit Martin O’Neill’s men, although the Black Cats will be going all out to grab the win.

They managed to do just that when Arsenal visited in the FA Cup last year, triumphing with a 2-0 victory.

Beat the bookie with Inside Bet! Free bets, tips, the best markets. Check out Inside Bet now.