Arsene Wenger
Under-pressure Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will hope for a reversal in fortunes on Sunday. REUTERS

Arsenal will hope to put their dismal start to the season behind them against fellow strugglers Sunderland on Sunday.

The Gunners' 2-1 defeat to London rivals Tottenham was their fourth defeat of the campaign and saw Arsene Wenger's side slump to 15th, just two points above the relegation zone.

The under pressure Frenchman has refused to concede defeat in his pursuit of a top four finish and he can point to Arsenal's home form - four wins in all competitions since the defeat to Liverpool in August - as grounds for optimism.

Sunderland have blown hot and cold this season. Defeats to Norwich and Newcastle followed a well-earned draw at Liverpool and a 4-0 demolition of Stoke and under-fire boss Steve Bruce will draw confidence from Arsenal's similarly patchy form.

Bruce is without Arsenal loanee Nicklas Bendtner (ineligible), Phil Bardsley (suspension) and Titus Bramble.

Strikers Frazier Campbell and Conor Wickham are also absent, along with goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

Bacary Sagna's broken leg against Tottenham means he joins other long-term absentees Thomas Vermaelen and Jack Wilshire.

Abou Diaby also misses out but Tomas Rosicky, Laurent Koscielny and Johann Djourou are all expected to return.

Prediction: Arsenal 2 Sunderland 1

Arsenal probable XI: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Arteta, Walcott, Ramsey, Song; Gervinho, Van Persie.

Sunderland possible XI: Mignolet; Turner, Brown, Richardson, O'Shea; Cattermole, Larsson, Gardner, Elmohamady; Sessegnon, Dong-Won.