Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion will trade tackles at the Emirates Stadium in the ultimate round of the 2020/21 Premier League season on Sunday afternoon.
Despite enduring an utterly underwhelming domestic campaign, the Gunners have an outside chance of finishing seventh, which would see them qualify for the Europa Conference League.
Ahead of the kick-off, Mikel Arteta’s men are one point adrift of seventh-placed Tottenham and need to pick up all three points to boost their hopes of landing a European finish.
According to CaptainGambling and many of the bookmakers featured there, the odds of Leicester capitulating meekly at home when they need to win to qualify for the Champions League are slim. All Arsenal need to do is win their game.
Meanwhile, Brighton can only hope not to finish ‘worst of the rest’ as they take the field holding a two-point lead on 17th-placed Burnley.
The visitors have managed to avoid relegation but will finish in the bottom half of the table regardless of what happens in London.
Since a dismal 1-0 home defeat to Everton on Matchday 33, Arsenal have hit the ground running in the Premier League, racking up a four-match winning streak to climb within a single point from a top-seven finish.
Each victory during the aforementioned four-game sequence saw the London side win the first half ‘to nil,’ with three of them featuring a winning margin of precisely two goals.
A 3-1 thumping of relegated West Brom in their most recent home Premier League outing brought Arsenal’s six-match winless home streak in all competitions to a halt (D3, L3). Interestingly, Arteta’s men have scored more goals against WBA than in those six games combined.
A narrow 1-0 triumph in the reverse fixture at the Amex Stadium ended Arsenal’s disappointing run of five Premier League games against Brighton without a win (D2, L3).
The Gunners could now complete a league double over the Seagulls for the first time since the 1980/81 campaign.
Brighton & Hove Albion Preview
Brighton have picked up two victories in their last four Premier League matches (D1, L1), as many as they had in their previous 11 in the competition (D4, L5).
The Seagulls defeated Arsenal 2-1 in this exact fixture back in 2019/20 to claim their first top-flight win against the Gunners in London following six failed attempts on the spin (D2, L4).
Graham Potter’s men are winless in four away Premier League games (D1, L3) since outscoring Southampton 2-1 on Matchday 28, with each loss in this period yielding a single-goal margin.
Among the sides sitting outside the drop zone, only Wolverhampton (15) have netted fewer away league goals than Brighton (18) this season. The visitors have scored at least twice in just 27.78% of their Premier League trips this term (5/18).
Brighton have developed a habit of falling behind without recovering, as evidenced by the fact they have lost 85.71% of the away Premier League games in which they conceded first in 2020/21 (D1, L6).
Arsenal vs Brighton & Hove Albion Players to Watch
Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Despite his indifferent form this season, the 31-year-old striker has been a genuine attacking threat in the season finale ever since he arrived at the Emirates from Borussia Dortmund. Aubameyang has found the net in the final match of the season in each of his three Premier League campaigns so far.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Lewis Dunk
Even though he plays as a centre-back, the 29-year-old has been Brighton’s most lethal player away from home lately. Dunk has scored three of his side’s last five Premier League goals on the road and with five goals under his belt, he is Brighton’s second joint-best scorer in the competition this term.
Arsenal vs Brighton & Hove Albion Predicted Line-ups
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Kieran Tierney, Gabriel, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers; Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka; Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Nicolas Pepe; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Brighton & Hove Albion (3-5-2): Robert Sanchez; Ben White, Adam Webster, Lewis Dunk; Jakub Moder, Yves Bissouma, Pascal Gross, Adam Lallana, Leandro Trossard; Danny Welbeck, Neal Maupay.