Preview: Arsenal vs. Sunderland

Olivier Giroud
© PA Photos
Arsenal begin their Premier League campaign without captain Robin van Persie when they take on Sunderland at the Emirates tomorrow.

Arsenal kick off their Premier League campaign by welcoming Sunderland to the Emirates with all eyes on the Gunners' new signings.

The North London outfit, who finished in third place last season, will begin a new era without their star striker Robin van Persie, who is due to complete a move to Manchester United today after completing a medical last night.

New strike force Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski are expected to make their Premier League debuts tomorrow, with Theo Walcott likely to provide support from the wide areas if deemed fit in time.

New boy Santi Cazorla could also receive a place in the new-look side, while Thomas Vermaelen should slot into the back four for the first time since being announced as permanent captain.

Meanwhile, Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill will be hopeful of the Black Cats starting their campaign well after slipping under the radar towards the closing weeks of last season.

Louis Saha, who signed for the North-East side yesterday on a one-year deal, could pull on a Sunderland shirt for the first time tomorrow with Stephane Sessegnon sitting just behind the striker.

Possible lineups:

Arsenal: Szczesny; Djourou, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Song, Ramsey; Walcott, Podolski, Cazorla; Giroud

Sunderland: Mignolet; O'Shea, Bramble, Cuellar, Richardson; Larsson, Cattermole, Colback, McClean; Sessegnon; Saha

Sports Mole says: 2-0

Alex Song
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