Arsenal face Sunderland on Sunday in what will be the first game of new manager, Joe Montemurro’s reign.

He will not, however, be present as he finalises his move from Australia to London.

More about Joe Montemurro and what a great appointment it is here

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The set-up

Arsenal go into this game already five points from the top of the table and the Champions League places.

Since sacking Pedro Losa at the end of October, they have played three, won two and lost one, scoring eight and conceding four in the process.

Only one of those games, however, was in the league – a 2-0 win away to Everton, a side desperately trying to outdo their men’s team by rooting themselves near the bottom of the table with zero points from their first four games [Edit – Everton did manage to get a win this weekend, beating the still-pointless Yeovil]. 

Sunderland are struggling to score while also letting the opposition net at will. 10 conceded in four games is, however, only marginally worse than the eight Arsenal have let in, but the Gunners have managed to find the net themselves eight times this season, while only Bristol City and Yeovil Town have scored fewer than Melanie Reay’s side.

Reading, who sit above Arsenal in third on goal difference, host league leaders Chelsea this weekend. Dropped points is a real possibility for the Royals against a side that has won four out of four without conceding a single goal. Chelsea have also scored more than anyone else in the division, meaning that Manchester City’s 100% start is not enough to move them higher than second.

Chelsea, therefore, could well open the door for Arsenal to leapfrog Reading and go clear in third, but only if they focus on the job at hand at Meadow Park on Sunday.

Next, the opposition

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