Arsenal v Aston Villa preview: Jack Wilshere could start for Gunners
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 15/05/16 3:51pm
Jack Wilshere is in line for his first start since last year's FA Cup final when Arsenal finish their season against Aston Villa on Sunday.
The England midfielder has made just two substitute appearances this season due to injuries.
However, with Danny Welbeck ruled out for nine months with a serious knee injury suffered in last weekend's draw at Manchester City, Wilshere could start for the Gunners.
There is still a chance Arsenal could finish second in the league if they beat Villa and Tottenham lose at Newcastle.
Otherwise, the Gunners look set to finish third as long as they avoid defeat against a Villa side who are facing a summer of uncertainty and upheaval.
Having won just three league matches, Villa's relegation to the Championship was confirmed in mid-April and they are set to finish more than 20 points from safety.
While they did at least avoid a club-record 12th successive defeat with a draw against Newcastle last weekend, they will become only the fourth club to finish with fewer than 20 points in a 38-match season if they do not beat Arsenal.
With Welbeck out following his knee injury sustained against City, Wilshere and Santi Cazorla are in contention to start.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) and Per Mertesacker (hamstring) are missing for the Gunners.
Alan Hutton and Ciaran Clark are fresh injury concerns for Villa. Fellow defender Kieran Richardson remains a doubt so teenager Kevin Toner is likely to retain his place, having enjoyed a run in the first team in recent weeks.
Midfielder Jordan Veretout will probably stay sidelined with his pelvic problem but Aly Cissokho is available again after suspension and striker Rudy Gestede has resumed training after injury ruled him out of the goalless draw with Newcastle.
Arsenal have averaged 1.5 goals scored per home game in the Premier League, their lowest return since 1994-95 (1.3).
Aston Villa have lost nine of their last 11 meetings with the Gunners in all competitions (W1 D1).
Arsenal have scored 14 goals without reply in the last four meetings in all competitions with Aston Villa.
Only against Man Utd (87) and Liverpool (82) have Aston Villa conceded more goals in the Premier League than they have against Arsenal (81).
Olivier Giroud has scored in each of his last five appearances against Aston Villa in all competitions.
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 10 games on the final day of the season (W8 D2). The last team to beat them on the final day of a Premier League season was Birmingham City in 2005.
Petr Cech has conceded more goals from outside the box than any other goalkeeper this season (10).
I can't think of anywhere worse for Villa to go on the last day. Arsenal have to win and I think it's going to be a big win to end a disastrous season for Villa.
They have 17 points and they won three of those on the first day of the season. There is zero chance they are going to spring a surprise at the Emirates.
PAUL PREDICTS: 4-0 (17/2 with Sky Bet)
Arsenal go into their final game of the season as the odds-on favourites to beat Aston Villa, with Sky Bet pricing the Gunners up at 1/7 to get the home win.
Already-relegated Aston Villa are rank outsiders at 16/1 to pick up an unlikely victory while the draw is 7/1.
After refinding his goal scoring touch against Manchester City, Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas is backing Oliver Giroud to score the game's first goal and Sky Bet have priced the Frenchman up at 11/4. Find all of the odds and tips from our Sky Sports pundits here.