Arsenal vs Sunderland EFL Cup LIVE Football Score 21 Dec 2021
About the match
Arsenal is going head to head with Sunderland starting on 21 Dec 2021 at 19:45 UTC at Emirates Stadium stadium, London city, England. The match is a part of the EFL Cup.
Following a run of three successive league wins, Arsenal look to take one step closer to the final of the EFL Cup on Tuesday as they host Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium.
The teams’ quarter-final tie also sees the visitors arrive in fine form, having gone seven games unbeaten in League One, though their recent cup record leaves a lot to be desired.
After successive defeats to open December, a rejuvenated Arsenal have gone into overdrive during the fortnight since – winning a quickfire trio of Premier League fixtures by an aggregate score of 9-1.
Last Wednesday’s London derby win over West Ham United lifted the Gunners into the top four of the league table for the first time since October 2020, and they then followed that up with a convincing victory over Leeds United at the weekend.
Only penalty area profligacy prevented Mikel Arteta’s men from replicating their opponents’ previous 7-0 defeat as they ran riot in the first half at Elland Road, but somehow only ended up with a 4-1 scoreline at the final whistle.
Arsenal’s previous win over Marcelo Bielsa’s struggling side had come less than two months ago when they prevailed at the Emirates in the EFL Cup last 16. Indeed, the North London club also cruised through their opening two ties in the competition, comfortably beating both West Brom and Wimbledon without conceding a goal.
In all, Arsenal’s record stands at a tally of 11 goals scored without reply, despite fielding a shadow side on all three occasions, so they will hope such momentum can help them take the final few steps to League Cup glory for the first time since 1993.
Having lifted the trophy just twice in their long and glorious history – compared to a record 14 FA Cup triumphs – the Gunners will certainly want to capitalise on being drawn against the only lower league opposition remaining in this year’s edition.
Despite avoiding top-flight opponents until this stage, Sunderland have taken a far more laborious route to the final eight than their capital counterparts, and it took a penalty shootout in the previous round to keep their hopes alive.
Following a goalless draw at Championship side QPR, the Black Cats used up a significant slice of their due luck by prospering in the spot-kick lottery – earning them a quarter-final berth, after previous wins over Port Vale, Blackpool and Wigan.
Since, though, their cup fortunes have noticeably nosedived, as successive losses in the EFL Trophy sandwiched a premature FA Cup exit at the hands of Mansfield Town.
Nevertheless, Sunderland’s quest for a return to the second tier this season under Lee Johnson has progressed relatively well, and they currently sit third in League One after a 1-1 draw away at Ipswich on Saturday, secured thanks to Nathan Broadhead’s second-half equaliser.
They therefore remain in contention for automatic promotion following a series of near misses in the recent past, as only four points separate them from league leaders Rotherham just ahead of the halfway stage.
Despite the size of their task in upsetting the odds this week, Johnson’s men are not required to play League One football again until December 27, so they can go all guns blazing at the Emirates before a brief Christmas break.
After naming the same starting lineup for four consecutive Premier League matches – the first time Arsenal have done so since 2015 – Mikel Arteta is set to make a number of changes to his team on Tuesday.
While captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s absence due to disciplinary reasons goes on, Alexandre Lacazette is poised to continue as skipper and centre-forward for the Gunners, with Eddie Nketiah and Nicolas Pepe likely to provide support from out wide.
Rob Holding, Nuno Tavares and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are among several others pushing for a place in the side, but Pablo Mari and Albert Sambi Lokonga (both COVID-19) and Sead Kolasinac (ankle) remain sidelined.
Meanwhile, Sunderland travel to London – where they are expected to be roared on by up to 5,000 fans – with a number of absences to deal with. Leon Dajaku was added to a growing list after Saturday’s draw with Ipswich, in which the German winger was substituted just before the interval with an injury.
Full-back Denver Hume was his replacement at Portman Road, having recently returned from an ankle injury, and could now start for the visitors, who have Dennis Cirkin (hernia) and Corry Evans (calf) out of contention, with the pair only recently returned to full training.
Luke O’Nien and Aiden McGeady are among the Black Cats’ longer-term injury victims, but Lynden Gooch was passed fit to play at the weekend following a groin problem and should once again start on the left flank.
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