Arsenal will have the opportunity to put the pressure on both Manchester City and Liverpool in the race for the top four when they host already-relegated Sunderland at the Emirates on Tuesday night.
Five wins in their last six Premier League encounters has given Arsene Wenger’s side a real chance of Champions League football next season, and victory will take them to within a point of Liverpool.
The visitors, on the other hand, have very little to play for at the bottom of the table after a dreadful season at the Stadium of Light, and David Moyes will be hoping to salvage a small piece of pride.
Arsenal have picked up a good run of form at just the right time in the season, beating Manchester United on their way to a run of five wins in their last six games to pull them right back into the race.
The Gunners’ home form has been impressive all season, only losing two of their previous 17 matches at the Emirates, and they’ve won their last three home fixtures without conceding a goal.
On the contrary, Sunderland will be thinking that the season can’t come to an end quick enough after a run of just two victories since the beginning of the calendar year, spanning 19 league games.
16 of their 24 defeats this season have come without the Black Cats finding the net, with Sunderland the third-lowest goal-scoring side in the top-flight, and it’ll be another tough test on Tuesday.
The main cause for concern for Arsene Wenger ahead of the visit of Sunderland is whether Alexis Sanchez will be passed fit in time to play after picking up a thigh strain in the 4-1 victory over Stoke.
Captain Laurent Koscielny is a doubt after aggravating a calf problem in recent weeks, whilst Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to miss out through a hamstring issue, paving the way for Hector Bellerin to continue.
Sunderland’s Jason Denayer and Victor Anichebe are expected to miss out at the Emirates due to respective thigh and hamstring problems, with Fabio Borini likely to move into a striking role.
Match Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Sunderland
Arsenal made a usually tricky trip to Stoke City look incredibly easy at the weekend and have been gaining momentum in recent weeks so it’s hard to see anything other than a home victory.
You’d have to go back as far as 1983 – 40 matches ago – for the last time that Sunderland beat Arsenal away from home, and with the Black Cats in dreadful form that run doesn’t look like ending tonight.
Arsene Wenger’s side won comprehensively at the Stadium of Light earlier in the season, and with Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez in good form it could be another big score-line on Tuesday night.
Although the visitors blew the relegation wide open with victory over Hull City a fortnight ago, it seems unlikely that they’ll be able to dent Arsenal’s top-four ambitions this time.