Arsenal will continue their push for a top-four finish in the English Premier League when they host West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, needing at least a draw against the Baggies to take a strong option on the final English Champions League ticket.
(Note: Following Everton's 3-2 loss to Manchester City, Arsenal are mathematically sure of a top-four finish and a ticket for the Champions League play-offs).
But the visitors are still in need of at least one good result to ensure a stay in the Premier League and will not be looking to gift the Gunners anything in this match, setting the stage for another fine afternoon of Premier League football.
Date: Sunday, May 4
Time: 1.30 p.m. BST/8:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London
TV info and live stream: The match will be broadcast on Sky Sports 1, with mobile coverage available via the Sky Go app.
The Gunners recovered nicely from their little slide in March that saw the team drop out of the Premier League title race, and three consecutive League wins have seen the team open up a four-point gap with Everton. Just two more matches stand between Arsenal and the Champions League playoffs, but neither will be an easy out.
The Baggies have lost just one match in their last five and currently sit four points above the relegation zone, and with momentum firmly on their side, the squad will not back down from any challenges Arsenal might set for them.
Sunday's atmosphere could be electric, as fans are planning to protest Arsenal shareholder Stan Kroenke and an increase in ticket prices, according to the Daily Mail's Matthew Morlidge.
The protest should reportedly have little to do with the team's performances this past season and will instead focus on the perceived greedy nature of the club's financial structure. Per Morlidge:
Arsenal announced the 3% ticket increase for next season in January, in line with inflation, and it was met with dismay by supporters groups.
The Arsenal Anon statement refers to fans being hit with the 'highest ticket prices in world football.'
Tickets for 'Category A' games this season, which have included FA Cup ties where a weakened team has been selected, can rise as high as £123.50.
[...]Meanwhile, season tickets can be as high as £1,995, much higher than their direct rivals.
As reported by Goal.com's Harry West, Arsenal will be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs in this match, while Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna and Serge Gnabry are still doubts for this clash.
With so many injury concerns and the FA Cup final still on the horizon, Arsene Wenger will want to be careful with his selection and might opt to further rotate the squad, counting on Manchester City to take care of business against Everton and thus guaranteeing Arsenal finish in the top four.
The visitors will have some injury concerns of their own, as WhoScored.com expects all three of Zoltan Gera, Steven Reid and Liam Ridgewell to miss the trip to North London.
Speaking to the Express & Star, captain Chris Brunt warned his teammates the fight against relegation isn't over following their 1-0 win over West Ham:
We were all relieved and buzzing after the game because it was a big three points for us but I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet.
Other results will dictate that.
We’ve still got three games to play and we need to pick up some points.
Not unlike Arsenal, fans of the Baggies have been up in arms in the last week following talk the team's traditional blue-and-white-striped kit could be ditched in favour of a new, pinstriped model next season, per the Birmingham Mail.
The away fans will only add to what looks likely to be an odd atmosphere on Sunday, and with both teams still playing for a solid result, this clash could turn explosive in the blink of an eye.
Arsenal clearly have the more talented squad, despite the rash of injuries, and if the Gunners can build on their three consecutive wins, West Brom shouldn't pose too much of a problem.
But if the visitors can take advantage of Arsenal's lack of depth amidst the injuries and keep playing the same organised brand of football we've seen from the team in recent weeks, the Baggies could very well pull another upset on their way to securing Premier League football in 2015.