Arsene Wenger
Arsenal are battling Manchester City and United for a place in the top four of the Premier LeagueGetty

Arsenal travel to Sunderland on 24 April and will look to go on to third place and avoid having to go through another qualifier. The north London club will go two points above Manchester City if they win against the Black Cats, which will give them some cushion going into the final three games of the season.

Where to watch live

Kick-off is set for 2.05pm BST. The game will be telecast live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD.

Overview

Sunderland come into the fixture after beaten Norwich 3-0 and know that a draw here will take them to 17th spot joint on points with the Canaries. Sam Allardyce will be buoyant of his chances against the Gunners, having had success against them during his time in Bolton and West Ham.

Newcastle's draw with Liverpool this week has made the battle at the top that much more difficult, especially with the Magpies and Sunderland being level on points. A loss here will make it very difficult for them to survive the length of the season, but the Black Cats are likely to go in for a win in front of a home crowd, which could work in favour of the Gunners.

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has come under massive pressure for his failure to rally his troops to a title triumph, especially with the likes of Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur still going at it in the business end of the season.

The Gunners come into the game on the back of a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion, which has given them some hope to end their season in the top three. There is likely to be a lot of debate after the end of the season regarding Wenger's position, especially with the manager having only a year left in his current contract, but all eyes will be on whether the gunners can get the better of Sunderland, especially after having failed to take full points against West Ham and Crystal Palace.

What managers say

Sam Allardyce: "Arsene is going to be there until – the very least – 2017, because that's when his contract runs out. Whether he or the board decide it's time to move on will depend on his last season – he's going to be in the Champions League again by the looks of it. He will be hurting badly, I think, knowing this season was his best chance to win the Premier League again. Rightly, he's sticking up for himself and his players. Deep down, I think they all know it was their chance to have the crown jewels in terms of the Premier League this season. But I think it would be very dangerous to change Arsene Wenger. Who's available and who do you get? It won't be Jose Mourinho, will it, because of the Chelsea-Arsenal thing?"

Arsene Wenger: "Between Thursday and Sunday and Wednesday and Saturday morning is exactly the same. We played on Wednesday at Barcelona and then on Saturday against Everton at 12.45pm. It's no problem. There's a very interesting study that has come out from Uefa that shows that the points taken by the teams three days later are not less than after four or five days. The study has been made in all the five best leagues in Europe. Nobody has proven that it is a disadvantage to have only three days' rest. The points on average are better than after four or five days."

Betting odds (betfair)

  • Sunderland win: 4
  • Draw: 14/5
  • Arsenal win: 4/6

Team news

Sunderland

Possible XI: Mannone; Jones, Kaboul, Kone, Van Aanholt; Kirchhoff, M'Vila, Cattermole; Borini, Watmore; Defoe.

Arsenal

Possible XI: Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Ramsey, Elneny; Sanchez, Iwobi, Ozil; Giroud.