Arsenal are in the envious position of only needing one point to guarantee a place in the Champions League Group Stages next season, bur first of all they need to get their act back together and overcome a battling Sunderland side that also only need one point to avoid the drop.
The game looks like a simple three points at home, but there is a small worry in that, after nine wins in a row, Arsenal are now three games without a win! The draws against Chelsea and Man United can be considered reasonable results, but the home defeat to Swansea took everyone by surprise, even Arsene Wenger, who is keen for that performance not to be repeated.
“For me the Swansea game was an accident,” Wenger said. “Having analysed it, it’s one of the games we deserved to win the most of all the games. We lost two in two or three years now, so you can say that’s an accident.
“Sunderland need a point to be safe so I expect them to be well organised defensively, sound at the back, and to try to use all the counter-attacks they can, all the set-pieces they have, to score goals. We have to put a high rhythm into this game and play with a high level of energy to win the game.”
“Sunderland, for a few years now, have struggled until five, six games before the end,” Wenger continued. “First Paolo di Canio saved them, then Gus Poyet saved them, and now Advocaat saved them, so always they just find the final resources to get out of relegation.”
You could say that both teams will be happy with a draw, but the fact is that a win for Arsenal will still give us a slim chance of finishing second on Sunday if Man City have a last day slip-up. Also we need to get ourselves back into a winning groove and give us another big boost ahead of the FA Cup Final.
No more accidents please, Arsene!