Arsenal may just end up finishing in the fourth spot in the English Premier League (EPL) points table if they lose against Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday and if all the other results go against them. Manager Arsene Wenger will want to end the 2015-16 season on a high onSunday and seal that UEFA Champions League spot.
The Gunners can also finish second after Leicester City if they win and their rivals Tottenham Hotspur lose against Newcastle United. It should be an easy game for Arsenal against an already relegated side, which has lost five games in a row prior to the match against the Gunners.
Arsenal had one of the best chances to win the Premier League after a long time this season. But after a poor run in the second half of the season, they are now battling to finish fourth or higher in the points table.
A draw against Aston Villa will be enough to finish in the third position and secure that Champions League birth. But Wenger will want his boys to finish the season on a high and register a confident win over the Villans.
"There's a big job to do because there's a difference between finishing third and fourth. We are guaranteed to be in the top four and part of that is because of the job we did at Manchester City," Wenger told Arsenal Player ahead of the game.
"Now we can still finish second, we can still strengthen our position in third, and that definitely gives us a good potential in the Champions League. We want to achieve that and we want to finish well at home as well in front of our crowd.
"There is not a big difference between second and third, apart from prestige, but that counts as well. We finished third last year so [if Arsenal finish second] we would have moved one place forward. It's minor but no matter what it is, we want to do as well as we can."
Meanwhile, after a torrid season, Aston Villa will want to secure a morale-boosting win in their last game of the Premier League. They have already been relegated but they need to keep that thought aside and play with free spirit against the Gunners on Sunday.
Acting boss Eric Black is aware of Arsenal's strength and wants his layers to bet at their best against a top Premier League side.
"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," Aston Villa acting manager Eric Black was quoted as saying by the official website of the club.
"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."
Expected playing XI:
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Gabriel, Monreal; Ramsey, Elneny; Sanchez, Ozil, Iwobi; Giroud.
Aston Villa: Bunn; Hutton, Toner, Clark, Lescott, Cissokho; Sanchez, Gueye, Westwood; Ayew, Gestede.
Where to watch live:
Arsenal vs Aston Villa EPL game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. BST (7:30 p.m IST and 10 a.m. EST) start. Star Sports HD 4 will telecast the game live in India. The live streaming option will be available on Starsports.com and Hotstar.com.
Unfortunately, there will be no coverage of Arsenal vs Aston Villa EPL game in the UK.
Syfy and Westwood One Sports will broadcast the game in the US. NBC Sports Extra will have the option of live streaming the Arsenal vs Aston Villa EPL game.
Arsenal Player will stream the EPL game worldwide.