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Arsenal travel to the Stadium of Light to face desperate Sunderland

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

When Arsenal face Sunderland on Sunday, the result will actually have major ramifications on the table. While the title is gone, Arsenal still needs to secure a top four spot, a job made a little easier with Man Utd playing in the FA Cup, meaning they can open a seven point lead over fifth place. But far more important will be the impact on the relegation battle.

Aston Villa are relegated. Crystal Palace are likely safe. But a three team battle of Norwich, Sunderland and Newcastle (all within 2 points of each other) has formed where the winner stays in the money. And Arsenal face two of them, with a home match against Norwich following the Sunderland tilt.

This adds an element of risk to these matches. Arsenal would clearly prefer to finish 3rd (or capitalize on a Spursing if it should happen), but both Sunderland and Norwich will be grasping for any point to remain in the top flight. With Norwich idle until their trip to Arsenal, Sunderland will look to seize an opportunity to ramp up the pressure at the Gunners' expense. Fun.

WIth no real changes on the health front, it'll be a Wenger's pick 'em between the team that casually dusted off West Brom 2-0 only three days prior or to work in fresher bodies who saw the team slump to a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace. With more than enough quality to see this match out, I'd be tempted to stick with Thursday's team aside from tossing Welbeck up front and be ready with the substitutions should the team being to tire. Either way, Arsenal should win and keep the driver's seat for 3rd.

WHAT:
Sunderland v. Arsenal
English Premier League

WHEN:
Sunday, April 24rd, 2016
6:05AM PT/9:05AM ET/2.05PM BT

WHERE:
Stadium of Light, Sunderland

HOW (to watch):
US: NBCSN, Telemundo, NBC Sports Live Extra
Worldwide info: livesoccer.tv