Aston Villa rock up at the Emirates on Sunday for their last Premier League match for at least 15 months.
Judging by how they’ve played this season, you wouldn’t bet on them bouncing straight back, so this could be the last time we see the Birmingham side with Premier League patches on their shirts.
Collecting just 17 points this season (that’s 1 point for every four that Arsenal picked up), Villa have won just three games this season and only one away.
They’ve scored just 27 but shipped a whopping 72 leaving them with a terrible -45 goal difference. Home or away, it makes no difference (14 scored and 35 conceded at home, 13 scored, 37 conceded away)
If Arsenal really wanted to, you get the feeling they could probably score the14 needed to close the gap on Tottenham’s superior goal difference. But they won’t. This Arsenal side haven’t really seem bothered about doing much this season themselves.
Speaking ahead of the game, Eric Black wants this game to mean something to his players as he knows it means something to Arsenal.
Yeah. Ok. If you say so.
“I just want to see the application and endeavour once again,” Black said.
“It’s going to be a very difficult game. Arsenal are exceptional at the Emirates.
“They will have the eye on getting above Tottenham. We will have to extremely conscientious in our defensive duties. We will work hard and look to continue to get the supporters back onside.
“Arsenal have a lot of attacking intent. I have watched their last three games and they have exceptional forward players. They are a top, top team.
“You don’t threaten finishing second with being average.
“They play a set system. They have plenty of flair. They have pace and power. They have all the attributes of a top team. We will have to be very diligent to come away with a result.
“You’re not going to have the majority of the ball and you’re going to have to defend extremely well and be disciplined and show an enormous amount of energy because they pass the ball quickly and have immensely talented footballers.
“We know what it’s like. It’s always difficult.
“It’s a game that means something to Arsenal and it should mean something to us.
“I thought we coped well against Man Utd, should have got something out of the Watford game, we gave a decent account of ourselves against Newcastle without threatening too much.
“The effort and desire has been there. They have applied themselves.
“This final game is a big challenge but it’s one we look forward to.”