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Dick Advocaat’s team are on track for their second consecutive great escape as they sit 16th – three points above Hull, who currently occupy the final relegation spot.

The visitors have lost only one of their last six matches – a 4-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.

The Gunners secured their passage to next year’s Champions League group stage with a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday and second spot is still possible if they win both remaining games and Manchester City fail to get anything at home to Southampton on the final day.

Arsene Wenger joked with reporters at a press conference that he doesn’t pay attention to what other managers say

The hosts will be keen to put in a good performance as they look to show Arsene Wenger they are worth a starting spot at Wembley, ahead of the FA Cup final on May 30.

Team news

Arsenal are likely to be without Laurent Koscielny as the defender recovers from a bout of the flu so Brazilian defender Gabriel could start alongside Per Mertesacker in central defence.

Mathieu Debuchy is not expected to return to full training until Friday and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck are also unavailable. Theo Walcott, whose deflected strike earned the Gunners a point in Manchester, may feature from the off.

Defender Billy Jones has become the latest injury problem for Sunderland after picking up a muscle problem in the goalless draw with Leicester.

Wes Brown, Jordi Gomez and Ricky Alvarez all remain sidelined through knee injuries’ while Jack Rodwell is out with a hamstring strain.

Opta stats

Arsenal have won seven and lost none of their last 10 Premier League matches against Sunderland.

Sunderland have alternated between defeats and 0-0 draws on their seven visits to the Emirates Stadium.

Olivier Giroud has scored three goals in four Premier League games against Sunderland.

Lee Cattermole received his 14th booking of the season on Saturday, the joint-most in a PL season, level with Mark Hughes, Robbie Savage and Cheick Tioté. All 14 have been for fouls.

34 per cent of the goals Arsenal have conceded this season have been from headers, the highest proportion in the top flight.

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