European qualification is still distinctly possible for Arsenal as they welcome Brighton to the Emirates on the final day of the Premier League campaign.
The Gunners have their sights set on a 7th placed finish, which would be enough to upkeep their record of playing in Europe in every season since 1995-96 and secure a place in the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League next term.
Although a club the size of Arsenal should be targeting Champions League qualification at the very least, qualifying for the 3rd tier of European competition in 2021/22 would be most welcome in a campaign where the Gunners have been distinctly below par.
However, that 7th spot is by no means guaranteed, with both Everton and North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur eyeing up the final continental berth.
With Spurs and the Toffees above Mikel Arteta’s 9th placed side in the standings right now and a point better off, Arsenal will need both of those sides to slip up as well as beating Brighton themselves to sneak in.
They face an Albion side who picked up an unlikely but hard-fought 3 points against champions Manchester City last time out, a game in which they came from behind to win.
The Seagulls were 0-2 down at the Amex midweek, but rallied in front of a returning home crowd to turn the match around and bundle home a last minute winner for a 3-2 reverse.
The victory took Graham Potter’s side to 41 points for the season, matching their efforts from last campaign – if they win or draw against Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday, that would represent their best ever Premier League points return.
There were moments this season when Brighton looked susceptible to the drop, but top flight status has been secured for another campaign and the season finishes against a side where they have had reasonable success in recent times.
Albion have avoided defeat in 5 of their last 7 Premier League meetings with the Gunners heading in to Sunday’s affair in North London.
However, Arsenal are one of the form teams in the division and along with Liverpool are one of two teams to have picked up 12 points from their last 12 on offer.
Extending that run with victory over the Seagulls at the weekend will need to be achieved without defenders David Luiz and Hector Bellerin who are both missing with injury – Bellerin therefore has played his last game for the club having confirmed he’ll leave Arsenal at the end of the season – PSG are favourites to land the Spaniard.
Brighton meanwhile will welcome Lewis Dunk back to the fold after serving his suspension, although Neal Maupay is still banned.
Danny Welbeck won’t feature upon returning to his former employers after picking up a knock last time out.
Tariq Lamptey, Solly March, Joel Veltman and Davy Propper are all still absentees for Graham Potter’s Seagulls.
Arsenal v Brighton kicks off at 4pm on Sunday 23rd May.