Arsenal will host Brighton on Sunday as the Gunners will play their final home league game of the season.
They played Valencia in the Europa League on Thursday. It was the first leg of the semi-final, and Arsenal prevailed 3-1. Despite trailing by 0-1 early on, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the goals. It was a huge win for Unai Emery, and his side is now the overwhelming favorite to reach the final. The second leg will be played at the Mestalla next Thursday.Embed from Getty Images
As far as the Premier League is concerned, finishing in the top four is the goal for Arsenal. They are involved in a tight race for the same. Winning the Europa League will also mean the same thing in reality, but Emery can’t take anything for granted. They are currently in fifth place, two points behind Chelsea who are in fourth. With two games to go, Emery will be hoping for maximum points to enable them to overtake Chelsea.
Brighton are still in danger of going down, and manager Chris Hughton will be wary of that. They are battling it out with Cardiff for the final relegation spot. The Seagulls are four points above Cardiff with two games to go. A win at The Emirates would seal survival for Brighton, and a loss for Cardiff would do the same as well. It is highly likely that Brighton will survive, but Hughton will not take anything for granted.
A four-game losing streak last month brought Brighton down. Cardiff defeated them 2-0 in that run, and that game made it close. But they have picked up the slack since. Hughton has adopted a conservative approach in the last three games. Brighton have conceded just two goals in that time, and drawn two games in the process. Meanwhile, Cardiff have picked up no points, which has given the Seagulls an advantage.
Pascal Gross scored the equalizer as Brighton drew 1-1 with Newcastle last time. That result was a huge one. Now Hughton is on course to stay safe for a second consecutive season. Their last game is against Manchester City, and getting something from that one is next to impossible. These two sides drew 1-1 when they met earlier this season, and Brighton will be delighted with a result like that.
Injuries and Suspensions
Ainsley Maitland-Niles will be suspended for Arsenal, as he was sent off in their last Premier League game. Aaron Ramsey is also out, and the Welshman has played his last game for the club before a summer move to Juventus. Captain Laurent Koscielny is also a doubt for Arsenal. Brighton have few injury concerns. Davy Propper and Jose Izquierdo are the only major doubts for Chris Hughton.
Arsenal vs Brighton Prediction
Considering their home form, Arsenal are huge favorites for this game. They should get three points with ease, as well as some goals. The total goals should be more than 2.5 for this game. Brighton have a tough match ahead of them, and even scoring once would be an achievement for them.
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