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MATCH PREVIEW: Keane's new-look Sunderland will make Gunners battle

PUBLISHED: 12:03 02 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:26 07 September 2010

Sunderland v Arsenal (away), Saturday 3pm Roy Keane s plan to cement Sunderland s status as a top-10 Premier League side remains on target. After helping the north-east giants gain promotion in 2007, he maintained their top-flight status last term relativ

Sunderland v Arsenal (away), Saturday 3pm

Roy Keane's plan to cement Sunderland's status as a top-10 Premier League side remains on target.

After helping the north-east giants gain promotion in 2007, he maintained their top-flight status last term relatively comfortably.

Their final home game of the campaign saw Arsenal snatch all three points with a 1-0 win, Theo Walcott racing through to score the winner in front of a sell-out 47,802 crowd.

In the summer Keane (pictured) has been busy plundering London squads, buying George McCartney and Anton Ferdinand from West Ham, and Pascal Chimbonda, Teemu Tainio and Steed Malbranque from Tottenham. Djibril Cisse, the former Liverpool striker, also returned to the Premier League from Marseille. He has teamed up with another former Anfield attacker, El Hadi Diouf, in the Black Cats' attack.

Sunderland have just one home win to their name this season, 2-0 against Middlesbrough, thanks to a double from Michael Chopra, the Newcastle-born striker who spent a spell in rehab earlier in the summer due to gambling problems. Cisse and Chopra both lead the club's goal-scoring chart with two apiece.

Northampton came within a whisker of humbling the Black Cats in the Carling Cup at the Stadium of Light, before the homeside scraped through on penalties after a 2-2 draw. In fact, the Cobblers had led 2-0 only for former Arsenal trainee Anthony Stokes to come off the bench and save their blushes with a late double for the hosts.

Keane, however, was critical of both his side and the crowd - prompting many an angry phone-in on Wearside. At home there is no denying they have much room for improvement. Liverpool (0-1) and Manchester City (0-3) have both left the impressive arena with maximum points this season.

Arsenal will be confident three points are there for the taking.


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