The news will be a hindrance to the visitors, who face stiff competition with Everton, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool for just two Champions League qualification spots. It will be a boost for Sunderland, however, who desperately need a good run of results to pull clear of the relegation battle, with the Black Cats looking in danger of getting pulled in.
Arsenal generally have a good record against Sunderland, and were victorious in this fixture last season, although they did lose Per Mertesacker to injury in that game - they can certainly not afford the same to happen again.
Sunderland injuries and suspensions
Arsenal injuries and suspensions
Out: Kieran Gibbs (knee), Thomas Vermaelen (ankle). In doubt: Laurent Koscienly (calf).
James McClean is a near-certainty to miss out for Sunderland after picking up an ankle injury on Republic of Ireland duty, although there is a chance for Carlos Cuellar and Lee Cattermole to return to bolster the Sunderland lineup.
Arsenal could have a big problem in central defence with Thomas Vermaelen out and Laurent Koscielny subject to a late fitness test, with no other first-team centre-backs available. Kieran Gibbs is also unavailable for the Gunners.
Match Date\Time: Saturday, 3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET
Venue: The Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England
TV: Fox Soccer Plus (U.S.), Sportsnet Regional (Canada)
Online: Fox Soccer 2Go