Two teams in the midst of disappointing seasons will face off this weekend as Sunderland hosts Arsenal. Sunderland has been able to stay well above the relegation zone but that’s likely the only upside to their season so far. They’re currently in 12th place with 29 points. They’re in a position to pick up some ground in the English Premier League table but not really in a position to compete with the top tier clubs. They’re a single point behind West Ham and Stoke City for 10th and 11th but five behind Swansea and West Brom tied for 8th and 9th. Arsenal is higher up the table but still outside of the qualification spots for European Cup play. The Gunners are in 6th place, a single point behind fifth place Everton but have not shown the consistency necessary to climb higher.
Arsenal’s away form has been one of the major problems with the team this season. The good news is that they only have three away losses this year which ranks them among the fewest road losses in the league. The bad news is that they’ve only got four away wins which is decidedly mediocre. In their last six road games they have 2 wins, 1 loss and 3 draws–the loss was at Chelsea but the wins aren’t overly impressive, coming against bottom feeders Reading and Wigan.
Sunderland has underachieved at home this year with a record of 4 wins, 4 losses and 4 draws. They’ve not been able to get wins against mid tier teams and have settled for draws while they’ve lost against the elite level teams. That begs the question of which category Arsenal belongs in–it’s hard to put them among the English Premier League elite so they’re more realistically a mid level team at this point. They play reasonably good defense on the road, but they’ve had trouble scoring goals.
For that reason we’ll look toward the draw–no interest in Sunderland +350 to win but by the same token can’t go with a mediocre traveling Arsenal team as a chalk. The draw is the play at +250. We’ll also go with the ‘Both Teams To Score’ prop at -138. Alternately, you could kill both birds with one stone and back the 1-1 exact score at +500.
BET DRAW +250
BET BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE -138
BET 1-1 EXACT SCORE +500