3 – Francis Coquelin v Ibrahim Ndong
With the Gunners without the suspended Granit Xhaka, and Santi Cazorla remaining a doubt, Francis Coquelin will certainly start in the centre of the park for Arsenal ahead of their trip to Sunderland.
The Sunderland man who the Frenchman will come up against is Ibrahim Ndong, a 22-year-old midfielder who signed for the club in the summer and is looking to make a stamp on his arrival.
Coquelin has changed his game, he is pressing high up the pitch and leaving gaps behind which is not always filled, something Middlesbrough capitalised on last weekend and this is certainly a weakness that Ndong could exploit ahead of tomorrow’s clash.
The Arsenal man loves a tough battle and never shy’s away from the physical side of the game, this is certainly a battle which will decide what way the game will sway throughout the 90 minutes.
Prediction: Taking into consideration all three key battles, I think the Arsenal squad will be hungry to put things right this week and send themselves top of the table before the other Premier League clashes. The form in which Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, and the doubtful Theo Walcott are in I can see it being all too much for Sunderland to cope with and the three points should travel back with them to North London. Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal.