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The spotlight will be on Mesut Ozil, whenArsenal visit the North East to take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the Premier League on Saturday. The Germany playmaker is in line to make his bow for the Gunners, after making a club-record £42.5m move from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day.
Where to Follow Live
Kick-off is set for 3pm BST. There is no live television coverage of the match in the UK. Follow live updates of the game on BBC One and BBC One HD from 4.30pm and also on BBC Radio 5 Live. Watch the highlights of the match on Match of the Day on BBC One and BBC One HD at 10.30pm.
Ozil has reportedly fallen ill and missed training on Friday but the 24-year-old was part of the team that travelled to Sunderland and is expected to make his Arsenal debut today, at least as a substitute. The midfielder's arrival has been touted as a massive coup for the Gunners by pundits and fans, as he is widely regarded as the best no.10 in the world at the moment.
Ozil spoke confidently of Arsenal's title chances at his unveiling on Thursday, while Arsene Wenger compared the German's arrival to the landmark signing Dennis Bergkamp back in 1995, which acted as the first step of the north London club's rise to the top under the French tactician.
However, Ozil is not the only player expected to make his bow in this clash. Sunderland have a midfield debutant of their own in Ki Sung-Yueng, the South Korea international loaned by Swansea City. Meanwhile, Italian striker Fabio Borini, also on a season-long loan, is set for his Black Cats debut as well, after joining from Liverpool on deadline day.
Arsenal have bounced back strongly from their defeat at home against Aston Villa in the season opener and are now on a fourth-match winning streak, capped by a 1-0 win over archrivals Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby just before the international break.
Sunderland, on the other hand, got off to a disappointing start to the season, managing just one point from their first three League matches. Defeat at home against Fulham in the season opener and a draw against Southampton the following week, preceded a 3-1 loss away to newly promoted Crystal Palace, which has put Paolo Di Canio and his men under pressure to get a result today.
Arsenal beat Sunderland 1-0 in the same fixture last season, hanging on to a Santi Cazorla first-half goal, after Carl Jenkinson was sent off following the break.
What Players Say
Fabio Borini: "The headlines are going to be around Ozil, but that puts a little bit of pressure on them because they've got this new player who they've spent a lot on. There will obviously be a lot of hype around him. But maybe that will be good because no one will be focusing on us."
Bacary Sagna: "He [Ozil] is a quality player and we need players like him to come to Arsenal. Hopefully he can make the difference offensively. Now we are ready to go even further because we started the season quite well, except for the first game. We've done well until now so I'm looking forward to playing with him."
- Last Five Games: (most recent first): L W D L L
- Last Match: Crystal Palace 3 - 1 Sunderland
- Last Five Games: (most recent first): W W W W L
- Last Match: Arsenal 1 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur
- Injured: Dossena (knee), Bardsley (foot), Cattermole (match fitness)
- Doubtful: Giaccherini (hamstring), Brown (knee)
- Suspended: O'Shea
Probable Starting Line-up (4-4-2): Westwood; Celustka, Diakite, Roberge, Colback; Johnson, Cabral, Ki, Giaccherini; Altidore, Borini
- Injured: Rosicky, Arteta (both thigh), Podolski (hamstring), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Diaby (both knee), Sanogo (back)
- Doubtful: Mertesacker, Ozil (both illness), Vermaelen (back)
- Suspended: N/A
Probable Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Jenkinson, Sagna, Koscielny, Gibbs; Flamini, Ramsey; Walcott, Wilshere, Cazorla; Giroud