Theo Walcott Arsenal
Theo Walcott will want to make an impact for Arsenal against SunderlandReuters

In their last two games, Arsenal have found it a little difficult to find their attacking groove, and Arsene Wenger will hope to put that "goals ain't coming that easy" problem behind them when Sunderland pay a visit to the Emirates in the English Premier League on Wednesday.

Arsenal can seal third place, and with it avoid a Champions League playoff, with a win against Sunderland – theoretically a draw will be enough as Arsenal have a +7 advantage in goal difference over Manchester United – and Wenger and his players will be extra keen to do just that.

The Gunners lost to Swansea nine days ago, before picking up a crucial 1-1 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United on Sunday. In both games, the usual Arsenal attacking fluency was not on display, and with Sunderland needing that one point to confirm their Premier League status, the home team will have to be extra potent to break down what will be a defend-first opponent.

"For me the Swansea game was an accident," Wenger said. "Having analysed it, it's one of the games we deserved to win the most of all the games. We lost two in two or three years now, so you can say that's an accident.

"Sunderland need a point to be safe so I expect them to be well organised defensively, sound at the back, and to try to use all the counter-attacks they can, all the setpieces they have, to score goals. We have to put a high rhythm into this game and play with a high level of energy to win the game."

Early goals are what turns such games when one team has much of the possession, and are on the attack, with the other content to sit back and hit their opponents on the counter.

If Arsenal score an early goal, it will relax the players considerably, while also forcing Sunderland to look for an equaliser, which in turn opens up spaces and makes for a better spectacle.

However, if Sunderland frustrate Arsenal, much like Swansea did in the last game at the Emirates, then that point that will take them to safety will move ever closer.

"Everyone is feeling confident and it would be massive to get a point at the Emirates because the lads have worked so hard," former Tottenham striker and current Sunderland forward Jermaine Defoe told the club's official website.

"It is a tough game on paper but you never know and if we get what we need before the last game everyone can relax."

Where to Watch Live

Arsenal vs Sunderland is scheduled for a 7.45 pm BST (12.15 am IST, 2.45 pm ET) start. Star Sports4 and Star Sports HD4 will show the EPL match Live on TV. The online live streaming option is on

US viewers can catch the match live on NBC Sports, with the live stream option is on NBC Sports LiveExtra. Viewers in Canada can watch the game live on TSN, while the action can also be live streamed on TSN TV.

Viewers in the UK can watch the Arsenal vs Sunderland English Premier League match live on Sky Sports1, with the live streaming option on Watch Sky Sports and Sky Go. Viewers in Australia can catch the EPL action live on Fox Sports, Foxtel or Fox Sports EPL On Demand.

Team news: Arsenal: Laurent Koscielny is a doubt with illness, while the game comes too soon for Mathieu Debuchy, Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. With the final Premier League match of the season on Sunday and then the FA Cup final six days later, Wenger might ponder changing the team a little, having played the same XI for six league games in a row. That could mean an opportunity for the likes of Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere to shine from the start.

Sunderland: Manager Dick Advocaat will welcome midfielder Jack Rodwell back into the side after recovering from a hamstring injury, while Billy Jones and is also fit, despite limping off in the 0-0 draw with Leicester City at the weekend. However, Jordi Gomez, Wes Brown and Liam Bridcutt are ruled out.

Expected lineups: Arsenal: Ospina; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal; Coquelin, Wilshere; Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud.

Sunderland: Pantilimon; Jones, O'Shea, Coates, Van Aanholt; Rodwell, Cattermole, Larsson; Wickham, Graham, Defoe.

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