Arsenal need to beat Brighton & Hove Albion at the Emirates this weekend to keep alive their hopes of finishing in the top four of the Premier League.
The Gunners were in pole position to finish at least fourth just a couple of weeks ago but three consecutive league defeats to Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester City have dented their chances.
Those defeats have left Arsenal sitting fifth in the table but they’re just two points off Chelsea – who’ve also stuttered of late – so the race for Champions League qualification is still very-much alive. Currently, Arsenal are the 2/1 third favourites with BetOlimp to finish in the top four but those odds would change if Chelsea fail to beat Watford this weekend.
Laurent Koscielny will require a late fitness test as the centre-back aggravated a long-standing Achilles injury during Arsenal’s 3-1 Europa League victory over Valencia on Thursday night.
Aaron Ramsey won’t play for the north Londoners again before joining Juventus on a free transfer at the end of the season as he’s been ruled out for the rest of the campaign with a hamstring injury.
Denis Suarez has also seen his season come to a premature end due to a groin problem so he’s out along with Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck.
Brighton will assess Beram Kayal after he suffered a hamstring injury against Newcastle last weekend.
Betting odds and tips
Arsenal’s weakness at the back has been ruthlessly exposed in recent games as they’ve conceded nine goals in their last three league fixtures. However, even the Gunners should be able to restrict Brighton to few goal-scoring opportunities as they’ve scored just once in their last eight games.
It’s no surprise that Arsenal are the bookies favourites with Betolimp South Africa pricing them at 1.43 to collect all three points on Sunday. Brighton can be backed at odds of 7.92 while the draw is on offer at 4.66.
Arsenal may have one eye on next week’s Europa League semi-final second leg but they should still have enough quality to beat Brighton at the Emirates and we’re predicting a routine 2-0 home win, which can be backed at odds of 6.35.
For those who want a little more value, Alexandre Lacazette continued his fine form in front of goal with another two strikes on Thursday night and he can be backed at odds of 4.93 to score first on Sunday. Add that to a 2-0 Arsenal win and we can get odds of 14.56.