Bleugh. Drank too much last night and here I sit on a Sunday morning with a mixture of sore head through too much red wine, as well as butterflies in my stomach through what will transpire later on this afternoon, for which I need not remind you.

It all comes down to this. As Arsenal fans we’ve all talked about ‘cup finals’ in the lead up to the culmination of this season, but as much as you talk about it like that, the reality is that you never truly think of it like that. But that’s not the case today, because a victory and things elsewhere going our way, would literally mean that we have a cup at the end. So today really could feel like a cup final.

The only down side is that it isn’t, in reality, because we could be superb, get the win and then still end up without a shiny silver trinket.

I’ve already done some pre match thoughts on the game and our opponents, as well as some post press conference thoughts as well, so I’m not really sure what more there is to say. Just go out there and win today, Arsenal, and let’s bring this season to a conclusion that we can all celebrate.

As a football fan you always have hope, which I will of course be taking in to the game ahead of kick off, but I’d be lying if I was to say that I have enough hope to believe that we will be celebrating a Premier League trophy lift today. The odds are just a little too stacked against our favour; West Ham have no jeopardy and Man City don’t lose at home. Arteta spoke about miracles on Friday at his presser but this feels like a miracle too far, if we’re all honest with ourselves.

That doesn’t mean that today needs to be a day of suffering, misery and sadness though, far from it in fact. Today is a celebration of this collective of Arsenal players who have played so well this season, given us so many highs, have picked up wins that in recent years just didn’t happen and today have the opportunity to give us our second highest points tally since the Premier League was introduced back in 1992.

That’s something to be pleased and proud of. Football often feels like silverware is the be-all-and-end-all, but in reality we’ve had nine months of matches and in the vast majority of them, we’ve found ourselves happy because this Arsenal team has delivered wins. And in some instances some really big wins. I still find it a bit mad that this Arsenal team – who everyone said needs to score more goals and need attacking options in abundance – could have the highest goal difference in the league if we win today. We’re up against a free scoring Man City. This is a robotic machine that just wins again and again and always has the best goal difference year-after-year, yet we’ve racked up such great results that anything other than a City win (as long as we can beat Everton) will mean that we are champions. That’s quite some feat.

Everton won’t roll over though. We can all dream of ‘what might be’, but Arteta will be at pains to stress that Everton aren’t just here to make up the numbers and they’ll be more than happy to deliver a Dyche-shaped spoiler if they’re given the chance. They will come to maintain their shape, sit deep, then look to take advantage of set pieces and corners. They will go route one with Pickford and in Calvert-Lewin we know they have a strong and physical presence that will cause Saliba and Gabriel problems if they [don’t have their game faces on. Talk about title dreams all you want, but defensively and offensively we still have to do our jobs.

Team-wise I suspect we’ll see little changing from the game at Old Trafford. Perhaps there is a question over whether you go for Partey over Jorginho, but I’d be surprised if Arteta tinkers with his starting XI. I think we’ve played the last four games with that XI and that’s what I’d expect today. We need to control the ball, control the territory and keep Everton penned in, whilst not succumbing to silly fouls that give them opportunities to lump balls in to the box.

Where we also need to be good is out wide too, because they’ll have two elder statesmen at full back and that’s where you feel like we need to find space. So I’m hoping to see some Saka and White overlaps, as well as the trickery of Trossard on the left finding space against Seamus Coleman.

I’ve said it before this season, i’ll say it again one more time for this season, but we’re up against another low block and we’ll need to be patient. I also suspect that given how pants West Ham are defensively that we’ll probably get news filtering through pretty quickly that City are ahead, so for me personally my challenge will be to carry on singing and cheering even when that inevitability permeates through the ground. Nothing should diminish the achievements of this Arsenal team and we should savour every last moment of this wonderful season.

We’ll be back on Tuesday with a post match pod on the Same Old Arsenal podcast which you can join us for here. I’ll be back tomorrow with some thoughts when all of the football has been played. For now though, it’s a bit of a run, a few beverages in the Bedford Tavern on the Seven Sisters Road, before a cheeky Greek and then the game. If you’re around and you see me, say ‘hello’.

Have yourselves a good one and I’ll catch thee all in the morrow.