Brighton travel to the Emirates knowing that Cardiff have already been relegated and that they are safe in the premiership for at least one more season.
There’s nothing to play for apart from pride and pride is a dangerous thing where Arsenal are concerned with the 4th spot in the premiership still very much up for grabs.
It’s a fascinating, finely balanced tie, where Brighton could deliver another upset that will almost consign the gunners to another Europa league campaign unless they win that particular prize this season.
Chris Houghton’s men can consider themselves unfortunate to have spent so long down the back end of the division.
They have been desperately unlucky on numerous occasions not to add at least another 9 points on their existing total of 35 points and in that case, they would have been sitting comfortably in 14th.
Arsenal can’t afford another loss with Chelsea two points above them in 4th and Spurs four points to the good in third.
Manchester United are just one point behind Arsenal as the most exciting premier league campaign in history reaches its climax.
Arsenal have had a bumpy ride recently in terms of form and suffered consecutive defeats to Palace, Wolves and Leicester.
Emery has struggled to rotate the squad attempting to give them the best possible chance in the premiership and in the Europa league but it has revealed exactly how thin the resources are, something he will no doubt review in the summer.
If I were Emery, I’d start looking to finish the job against Valencia by resting one or two players.
Koscielny looks tired or injured or both. In recent matches he has struggled and if Holding were available, I doubt he would have played half the games that he has been asked to.
It’s seems a situation of necessity rather that convenience.
Arsenal’s big issue is how to get past the ‘parked bus’ strategy. In the three defeats in the premier league, Arsenal found themselves pushed back by high lines and unable to create anything of note.
Brighton are not going to make it easy and it’s about time Arsenal found a plan ‘B’ to get past struggling and average teams, rather than roll over like a attention starved dog looking for affection or a rub.
Lacazette may be rested because it’s clear that he will be needed in the second leg against Valencia with perhaps Eddie Nketiah getting his chance with Aubameyang.
Mavropanos should be included back into the fold in an effort to keep Mustafi on the bench and to take the weight off a broken Koscielny.
Maitland-Niles is out for his soft red at Leicester, had he been a Spurs player, it would no doubt have been rescinded.
The big question is will Emery continue to rotate with games running out or field his best available side. There’s an argument for both plans but Arsenal are so close to a Europa league final, Emery must be caught in two minds about his approach.
I expect Arsenal to find a narrow win and about time.
With Spurs doing their best to end up below the gunners, Emery is at the last chance saloon with the door only half open.
Choice of line-ups for Arsenal vs Brighton game
Leno, Jenkinson, Sokratis, Mavropanos, Monreal, Xhaka, Guendouzi,
Leno,Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal, Kolasinac,
Xhaka, Torriera,Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Predicted score:- A grateful 1-0 win for Arsenal over Brighton