Football

Sunderland Vs Arsenal, Sat 18 Sep 2010

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Sunderland will be without skipper Lee Cattermole for the Barclays Premier League clash with Arsenal.

The 22-year-old midfielder starts a two-match ban after picking up his second red card of the season at former club Wigan last weekend.

Defender John Mensah, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury, is a doubt after picking up a knock in training, but Kieran Richardson and Ahmed Elmohamady are expected to be fit after returning from the DW Stadium with minor problems.

However, Michael Turner (ankle), Craig Gordon (fractured arm) and Fraizer Campbell and David Meyler (both knee) remain on the sidelines.

Anton Ferdinand will rely on his head rather than his legs as he tries to keep rampant Arsenal at bay.

The 25-year-old defender and his team-mates face the unenviable task of having to tame the Gunners just three days after seeing them plunder six goals without reply against Champions League rivals Braga.

That was the second time this season Arsene Wenger's men had scored half a dozen at the Emirates Stadium, and the fact that they did it without Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott demonstrated the depth of the Frenchman's squad.

Ferdinand knows from experience just how difficult it can be to play against Arsenal, but admits that unlike some of their rivals, the challenge can be mental rather than physical.

He said: "I tend to come off the pitch against Arsenal more mentally tired than physically tired because against Arsenal, it is about the game in your head.

"If you are switched on mentally and you are concentrating for the full 90 minutes, then you are going to come off very tired, whereas against a Stoke or a West Ham, it's not just a mental game, it is a physical game.

"I am not saying Arsenal isn't physical - it is because the pace they have that goes through the team is phenomenal.

"But as a defender, you have to come off that pitch mentally tired. If you come off the pitch mentally tired, then you know you have done well."

Arsenal will again be without midfielder Abou Diaby (ankle) and centre-back Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles).

England youngster Jack Wilshere is pressing to retain his starting place alongside captain Cesc Fabregas, while winger Tomas Rosicky and England full-back Kieran Gibbs could be involved having sat out in Europe.

Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie (both ankle), Nicklas Bendtner (groin) and Aaron Ramsey (leg) remain out.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Sunderland
Football
Premier League

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