Arsenal v Brighton: Gunners' desperate late European bid should lead to goals

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta's side must win to have any chance of European qualification

Arsenal must beat Brighton in their final game to have a chance of securing European football and Simon Mail expects goals...

"Five of the last six clashes between Brighton and Arsenal have seen both teams score and this trend looks likely to continue this weekend."

Arsenal v Brighton
Sunday, 16:00
Live on Sky Sports Arena

Arsenal aiming to scrape into Europe

It has been a season to forget for Arsenal but Mikel Arteta's side could yet salvage the consolation of a spot in the new Uefa Conference.

Arsenal must win their final game against Brighton and hope Tottenham and Everton fail to claim victory in their matches to finish seventh and secure a European place.

It is not what Arteta had in mind at the start of the season but shows the mediocrity which has engulfed the club.

The Gunners have become hugely reliant on their young stars with Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe significantly outperforming their experienced team-mates. Arsenal were dumped out of the Europa League in the semi-finals by old boss Unai Emery's Villarreal at the start of this month. Since then, Arsenal have won all three league games but were fortunate in their 3-1 victory at Crystal Palace on Wednesday after scoring two late goals.

Brighton buzzing after win over champions

Brighton clinched their best win of the season on Tuesday after stunning champions Manchester City in a 3-2 victory. Pep Guardiola's side led 2-0 but were punished for the early sending off of Joao Cancelo. Cheered on by their returning fans, goals from Leandro Trossard, Adam Webster and Dan Burn completed a memorable comeback for the Seagulls.

Graham Potter has earned plaudits for Brighton's style of football with their attacking game rating highly for xG aficionados. Currently 16th in the table, Brighton have failed to convert their chances into goals and frequent victories throughout the season. Brighton have dropped a league high 25 points from winning positions.

potter brighton.jpg

Hosts short enough for closing win

Arsenal are 1.654/6 favourites to finish with a victory but the Gunners have let down backers throughout this campaign. Arteta's side come into this off four successive league wins but this has been the exception rather than the norm. Arsenal have failed to win 11 of their 18 home league games this season and are hard to trust at short odds.

Brighton are 5.59/2 outsiders to sign off with a victory at the Emirates. The Seagulls have won two of the last three meetings with Arsenal and certainly should not be dismissed lightly. Brighton are likely to cause the hosts problems and this is not straight forward for Arsenal.

The draw is available at 4.67/2 and always merits consideration when Brighton are in action.

Potter's side have drawn a league high 14 matches this season.

Brighton have had a tendency to squander leads and another draw could be on the cards on Sunday. This looks the most appealing option in this market and is worth a bet.

Entertaining final game likely at the Emirates

Arsenal must go for broke in this European decider and the smart money should go on goals at the Emirates. Five of the last six clashes between Brighton and Arsenal have seen both teams score and this trend looks likely to continue this weekend. Arsenal have gone seven home league matches without keeping a clean sheet which will only increase the visitors' confidence in breaching their defence.

Brighton will also head to north London buoyed by their comeback victory over Man City. The Seagulls have scored seven goals in their last four matches and are fancied to find the net. But keeping a clean sheet will be a test with Arsenal rattling in seven goals in their last three games. Both teams to score is a confident selection at 8/11.

Opta Stat

Arsenal have taken just 25 points from their 18 Premier League home games this season. If they fail to win here, it will be their lowest ever home points total in a Premier League campaign (currently 27 in 1994-95), while they last won fewer across a single campaign in 1912-13 (11).

Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster

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