Arsenal travel to the Stadium of Light on Saturday to take on a resurgent Sunderland team who have really responded to new manager Martin O'Neill. The game takes on added significance as it will also act as a precursor to the upcoming FA Cup fifth-round clash between the two teams.
League points are vital for Arsenal right now, as they chase the coveted Champions League spots. The Gunners have gained four points in their last two Premier League outings and offered a glimmer of hope that the dismal form that began 2012 is behind them.
That notion will be severely tested when Arsene Wenger's team travels to the North East. Sunderland have won five of their last six league contests under O'Neill. The Black Cats have become tough to beat since the former Glasgow Celtic and Aston Villa manager implemented his defensive tactics.
Here are five keys that can help Arsenal break down and resist a buoyant Sunderland side and score three crucial points in the frenetic race for fourth place.