Arsenal vs Sunderland Preview: Can the Gunners keep their drifting top four hopes alive?

Match preview as Arsenal welcome Sunderland AFC to the Emirates Stadium in the penultimate game of the season.

Arsenal vs Sunderland Preview: Can the Gunners keep their drifting top four hopes alive?
Giroud celebrates against Sunderland earlier this season. | Source: Stu Forster, getty

In the penultimate game of the Premier League season, Arsenal welcome Sunderland to the Emirates Stadium for a midweek showdown.

With Sunderland already relegated, David Moyes’ Black Cats look to football in the Championship next season, for Arsenal, their Champions League destiny is out of their hands as they sit three points outside of the top four.

Can Arsenal continue their run?

Arsenal are in a rare positive run of form this season, as their fight for top four continues. The Gunners go into the game with three wins from their previous three games, in which they have scored eight goals.

Arsene Wenger has overcome some of his personal demons with his side, as he recorded a first win against Jose Mourinho in the league, a win at St Mary’s since 2003, and a first win at Stoke in seven years.

Arsenal go into the game packed full of confidence, however as stated, their fate relies on the form of both Liverpool a Manchester City above them.

Sunderland's woes continue

Sunderland will be begging for the season to end. The Black Cat’s were confirmed as relegated two weeks ago, as they sit at the bottom of the table with just six wins all season.

However, Sunderland recorded a rare win last week, as they were 2-0 winners at Hull who were also confirmed as relegated.

The weekend’s defeat to Swansea City damaged Sunderland’s confidence once more, confidence that they needed for their two final games of the season coming against Arsenal and the Champions Chelsea.

Team news

Arsenal are likely to change their side following their previous three games coming in quick succession. The Gunners have found their feet playing with a back three, however team captain Laurent Koscielny will miss out due to injury – as will Alex Oxlade Chamberlain.

David Moyes has revealed that he is debating playing the club’s youngsters at the Emirates, despite the U23’s cup final being played tomorrow. Is interfering with the youth team’s a smart move?

Jason Denayer and Victor Anichebe are not expected to feature as they struggle with suspected hamstring problems.

Sunderland haven’t won at Arsenal in the Premier League era, recording their most recent win at Highbury in 1983 – can the Black Cat’s cause an upset?

Arsenal FC