The Gunners play their second last Premier league game of the season tonight against already relegated Sunderland. Three points are a must if we have any chance of scraping that top four spot, with Liverpool not playing their final game until Saturday, when we play Everton, also at home.
There should be a change in line-up for tonight’s game, the team have played three games in seven days, so it will have taken its toll on the players. The manager said yesterday that Laurent Koscielny has picked up another calf problem, so he’ll be out of contention for tonight. Gibbs could come back in the left while Gabriel takes the Frenchman’s place.
Alexis came off in the Stoke game, even though he managed to score only seconds before. The player was in full team training yesterday, but it would still be sensible to rest him, though I wouldn’t want to be the one to tell the Chilean that he’s not allowed to play football. There’s also a case to rest Mesut Ozil, with the opposition already relegated, I’m sure it won’t be a struggle to overcome them.
Alex Iwobi could start behind the striker in the place of the German, Lucas Perez could pay up top and Mohammed Elneny could come into the midfield, all of which have been on the fringes of the team this season. Theo Walcott might come in, though this new formation doesn’t really suit him, so I don’t know where he’d fit into it. All of which will be trying to impress the manager to warrant a place in the F.A cup final.
The manager might choose to start Giroud up top after his impressive game against Stoke, as there’s not much time left for the manager to pick who starts up top at Wembley. History’s also on the player’s side having managed to score four times in his last four games against them, including two substitute appearances. The Black Cats have never won at Arsenal in Premier League history, the last time they managed it was 1983.
If Manchester City or Liverpool do slip up and drop points in their final games they’re both five and four goals ahead on goal difference, so we really need to hammer a few home tonight, if even the smallest of miracles were to come true.