Arsenal hosts rock-bottom Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, as the Gunners look to record a win in their efforts to finish the campaign as Premier League runners-up.
Arsene Wenger’s side will kick-off this game two points behind arch-rivals Tottenham, who currently occupy second. Spurs’ last game of the campaign is away at relegated Newcastle. Due to a better goal difference a point in the north east would ensure Mauricio Pochettino’s side finish second.
The Gunners head into this clash on the back of a 2-2 draw at Manchester City last time out. City took the lead through Sergio Aguero, but the lead lasted just two minutes as Olivier Giroud headed home an equaliser.
The Citizens regained the lead in the second half through a superb solo effort from Kevin De Bruyne. However the Gunners rescued a point through a goal from Alexis Sanchez in the last 15 minutes of the game.
Arsenal’s form of late has been decent, as Arsene Wenger’s team are now nine matches unbeaten, although five of those unbeaten games have been draws. The side from north London will be highly-confident of beating this struggling Villa side though.
Aston Villa have actually been performing better since their relegation was confirmed and last time out ended a 11-game losing streak in the top-flight by drawing 0-0 with Newcastle at Villa Park.
The Villans have been poor this season, as three league wins all season illustrates. Their away form has been poor of late, as the side from the Midlands have suffered nine straight Premier League defeats on their travels.
Unsurprisingly Villa are the lowest scoring team in the top-flight with 27 scored and have also conceded the most at 72. Eric Black’s team have shown some spirit of late, but it has been too late to rescue any pride from the campaign.
The Gunners will be without German centre-back Per Mertesacker, midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and forward Danny Welbeck, who will be missing for nine months after having surgery on his knee. German playmaker Mesut Ozil is also a doubt.
For Villa Jordan Amavi has a long-term injury problem, striker Gabby Agbonlahor has been exiled from the squad and could miss out again and Kieran Richardson is also a doubt for the clash.
Arsenal are favourites for this clash at odds of 1/7, the draw is odds of 13/2 and villa are a massive 16/1 to record a shock victory at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal will be highly confident of a big victory against the hapless bottom club and will be looking to finish the campaign on a high with a victory.
Surely Arsenal could not slip-up against struggling Aston Villa?