After a fractious season Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal can send us into the summer months with some cause for optimism if the team continues its upward trend and dispatches today’s visitors with style.
With (some) fans back in the stadium it would be nice to think the players will be motivated to put on a show and give us an entertaining game with plenty of goals and a good win.
Three points would mean we’ll have ended the season with five wins on the bounce and with post-Christmas form that puts us behind only Manchester City and Manchester United over a span of 22 games.
It would give us a final total of 61 points, which would be three more than last season and would therefore be further evidence of improvement, albeit incremental.
There is also the outside chance of qualifying for the Europa Bottom Feeders Commemorative Challenge Trophy and of finishing above the noisy neighbours.
Of course Brighton will be aiming to finish strongly themselves, even though they have nothing other than league position to play for.
They may be encouraged by our poor home form this season, but you would have to hope that the presence of 10,000 fired-up supporters will help us with that particular deficiency.
With lots of talk of a summer clear-out, it may be the last chance for fans to see some of our players in an Arsenal shirt. We know David Luiz is leaving, but he may be given a start (or possibly a run-out as a sub) if he passes a late fitness test.
Bellerin is definitely out with an injury he picked up against Chelsea, so we may have seen the last of him. Mat Ryan can’t pay against the club that loaned him to us.
Here’s my predicted line-up:
Chambers – Holding – Gabriel – Tierney
Partey – Xhaka
Saka – Smith Rowe – Aubameyang
Come on You Gunners: Let’s finish with style.