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Arsenal vs. Aston Villa: Preview, how to watch

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These guys don't get the summer off because the grass doesn't take summers off
These guys don't get the summer off because the grass doesn't take summers off
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Sports fandom is a very odd thing indeed. I mean, you look at almost any objective measure, and Arsenal had a good season, right? At least third in the league, safely in the Champions League again, and there's rumors of a big player signing coming soon. So why does this season feel like it's staggering to the end like a drunk trying to make it home at 4AM, only to fall down and pass out on their front lawn instead?

This season was supposed to be so much more. Even before Manchester United underperforming, even before the clownshow that is Chelsea, even before City stumbled a bit, this was shaping up to be a year when Arsenal finally decided they could flex their muscles and make a title challenge. Except they didn't.

If Arsenal win tomorrow, they'll finish the season with 71 points. They finished last season on 75, and have scored 10 more goals in the process, while conceding exactly the same number as last season.  This is by no means a bad season - take the number 71 and reverse the digits, and that's where today's opponent stands, points-wise - but it does make for an unsatisfying one, given what could have been.

So my advice for today? Forget all that. This game is, as far as serious consequences go, a dead rubber - the only thing at stake is local pride. When you watch this game, watch it for fun - watch it for the reasons you love soccer, not for the reasons you hate Arsenal right now. Enjoy the sport for what it is, a beautiful, flowing expression of happiness and joy at its peak. Enjoy it, because it won't be back until August.

Arsenal vs. Aston Villa
English Premier League

Emirates Stadium, London

Sunday, May 15, 2016

HOW (to watch):
US: SyFy, NBC Sports Live Extra
Worldwide info: