Arsenal are all but assured of a third-place finish ahead of their clash with West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates on the final day of the season, reports Score Mobile FC.
Arsene Wenger's Arsenal were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw by Sunderland on Wednesday evening – making it just one in five for the Gunners. However, it would need Arsenal to lose to West Brom on today and Manchester United to produce a seven-goal swing in goal difference to prevent the north London club from finishing in the third and final automatic Champions League qualification spot.
It will make a pleasant change for Wenger's side, who have become accustomed to sneaking into the fourth spot and having to go through an early season European qualifier.
"Over the last few seasons we have had that season-defining moment right at the start that we have managed to get through," Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere said. "It is always a big thing and it takes a lot mentally and sometimes we start the season thinking about that and drop points in the Premier League.
"It is not done yet for next season, but it's about 90 per cent done. Hopefully we will start the Premier League a bit sharper and when it comes to this time next year we will be in a better position."
Today's visitors to the Emirates are Tony Pulis' in-form West Bromwich Albion. The Baggies are unbeaten in five and saw off champions Chelsea last time out in a remarkable 3-0 victory.
It has been an impressive turnaround for the Baggies under Pulis, who has guided the relegation-threatened club well clear of the drop zone and into the safety of mid-table, as is his want.
"It's great to be finishing the season on such a high," West Brom forward Saido Berahino said. "Everyone is still buzzing at Monday night's result and performance and we will be going all out to land another big scalp on Sunday.
"I can't praise the gaffer highly enough – he has been great for me and I'm loving my football," he added. "It's great to be finishing the season on such a high.
And West Brom's star striker received another boost this week when he was named in the England Under-21 training squad for the summer's European Championships in the Czech Republic.
"It's going to be an incredible experience," Berahino said. "I really enjoyed the campaign to qualify and you can see from the names on the list that there is plenty of talent in our ranks.
"It's going to make it a long season but I hope that I'm still playing at the end of June because that will mean I made the final 23-man squad and we have gone deep into the tournament. I think we're good enough to do that."
Berahino is likely to lead the line again on Sunday after his brace against Chelsea, and Pulis has a full outfield squad at his disposal. Goalkeeper Ben Foster is set to miss the start of next season with a knee ligament injury.
Arsenal have fitness concerns over English duo Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck, while Mathieu Debuchy is out.
It was a 1-0 win for the Gunners when these teams met at the Hawthorns in November, with Welbeck getting the only goal of the game. The Baggies are without a win in eight against Arsenal, but five of the last six meetings have seen the teams separated by just a single goal. West Brom have never kept a clean sheet in 17 Premier League clashes with Wenger's side.Unblock the FIFA World Cup with ExpressVPN the #1 Trusted Name in VPN