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Arsenal vs Brighton and Hove Albion. Premier League.

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Arsenal 1

  • P Aubameyang (9th minute pen)

Brighton and Hove Albion 1

  • G Murray (61st minute pen)

Arsenal vs Brighton preview: Premier League still the focus for Unai Emery

Watch Arsenal vs Brighton on Sky Sports Premier League from 4.15pm on Sunday; Kick-off at 4.30pm

Sunday 5 May 2019 15:13, UK

Arsenal v Brighton
Image: Watch Arsenal vs Brighton live on Sky Sports from 4.15pm on Sunday

Unai Emery insists the Premier League remains his priority this season despite watching his Arsenal side put one foot in the Europa League final on Thursday night.

Three straight league defeats have left the Gunners two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with two games remaining, but they beat Valencia 3-1 in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final at the Emirates on Thursday.

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Emery named a strong starting XI for the game, but he wants to quickly refocus on the league - beginning at home to Brighton on Sunday, before a trip to Burnley on the final day of the season - as it offers the first chance for Champions League qualification.

"The Premier League is still the most important competition," he said. "If we win against Brighton, we will play the last match against Burnley with the possibility to be in the top four.

"To be consistent over the 38 matches is important and it is the first competition to give us the capacity to be in the Champions League.

Unai Emery wants his Arsenal players to keep their concentration with their Europa League semi-final with Valencia still '50/50' 1:52
Unai Emery insists Arsenal are not nervous about finishing in the top four, despite losing their last three Premier League matches

"The second is the Europa League but we need to play the second leg in Valencia and it is going to be very different and if we win, then we have to play one more match in the final.

"The Premier League is still the first competition where we want to do something important."

More on this story

Brighton will be safe by the time they play Arsenal if relegation rivals Cardiff fail to beat Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Should Cardiff win, they would be a point behind Brighton with one game left to play.

preview image 2:59
Highlights from the 1-1 draw between Brighton and Newcastle in the Premier League

Team news

Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny is expected to be fit for Sunday's Premier League visit of Brighton.

The defender came off in the 3-1 Europa League semi-final first-leg win over Valencia on Thursday but is in contention to face the Seagulls.

Nacho Monreal replaced Koscielny and could come in from the start having overcome his own calf problem, while Danny Welbeck (ankle), Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding (both knee) are all out for the season.

Brighton winger Jose Izquierdo will not feature against the Gunners as he has suffered a recurrence of knee cartilage damage.

Davy Propper is also out with a hamstring problem, although Beram Kayal has recovered from the knock that forced him off during the draw with Newcastle last weekend.

Record-signing Alireza Jahanbakhsh could return to Albion's squad after being left out against the Magpies.

Opta stats

preview image 2:39
Take at look at some of the stats surrounding the fixtures from matchweek 37 in the Premier League
  • Arsenal have lost none of their seven previous home meetings with Brighton in all competitions (W6 D1), with the Gunners conceding just one goal in those games.
  • No south coast side have ever won a Premier League away game against Arsenal (P32 W0 D7 L25).
  • Arsenal have lost their last three Premier League games - they've not lost four in a row in the competition since March 1995 under Stewart Houston.
  • Arsenal have only lost their last home league game of the season in one of the last 21 campaigns (1-2 vs Aston Villa in 2010-11), winning their last six in a row.
  • Only Cardiff and Huddersfield (10 each) have failed to score in more away Premier League games this season than Brighton (8), with the Seagulls also failing to score in each of their last three on the road.
  • Brighton have lost all 11 of their Premier League away games against 'big-six' opposition by an aggregate score of 2-23.
  • Brighton are winless in their last seven Premier League games - they've never gone eight without a win in the competition before.
  • Arsenal have conceded 49 Premier League goals this season. Having conceded 51 goals last term, they could ship 50+ goals in consecutive top-flight campaigns for the first time since 1982-83/1983-84.
  • Arsenal have conceded three goals in their last three Premier League games - they last conceded as many in four consecutive league games back in November 1963.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 19 Premier League goals for Arsenal this season - he could become the sixth different player to net 20 in a single campaign for the Gunners and first since Alexis Sanchez in 2016-17.

Paul Merson's prediction

If Cardiff have already won, it's panic time for Brighton. I can't see anything but an Arsenal win, they need to win to keep the pressure on.

Brighton are very fortunate - they stuck in there against Newcastle and got a result, but it could've been very different in that game. They weren't in it for long stages.

PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0

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