Saturday saw Arsenal looking the most fluid they have offensively in a while – and thus, maintaining such a system against Sunderland will go some way to securing three points.
One of the largest factors in Arsenal’s offensive resurgence is the performance level of Granit Xhaka. With three at the back, he is afforded a little more protection, and thus is free to exercise his full repertoire of passing.
This is combined with the free movement of Aaron Ramsey, who is able to pull the double pivot in an opposition 4-2-3-1 this way and that.
The forward line does the rest – with the resurgence of Mesut Ozil as an inside forward.
Sunderland should offer little resistance, and already being relegated, they wouldn’t set up to frustrate. The clinical Jermain Defoe is always a threat, but with three centre backs smothering the lone striker, it would be admirable if he found any space in the Arsenal penalty area. Otherwise, it will be up to Lee Cattermole to protect the leaky Sunderland defence.
While maintaining the same system, Arsenal can afford to be more open at home then they were at the Brittania. Danny Welbeck up top, Kieran Gibbs as the left wing back and Aaron Ramsey replacing Francis Coquelin will be needed to make up the goal difference on Manchester City.
The versatility of this formation is that the defence can be a three or a five with a simple adjustment of the wing backs – and for Tuesday’s game, Kieran Gibbs and Hector Bellerin should be given offensive freedom.