Manager Arsene Wenger has challenged Arsenal to "make a symbolic statement" by beating Manchester United on their own turf on Sunday to secure their place in the Champions League.
The Gunners head north looking to put the disappointment of Monday's 1-0 home reverse against Swansea behind them and repeat last month's FA Cup quarter-final triumph, in the process earning a first Barclays Premier League win at Old Trafford since September 2006.
Arsenal are currently two points clear of the Red Devils, so, if Wenger's men can avoid defeat this weekend, it would leave them all but guaranteed third place, while victory would certainly consign Louis van Gaal's side to the Champions League qualifiers.
The Arsenal summer signings that would please Thierry Henry
The Arsenal summer signings that would please Thierry Henry
1/12 GOALKEEPER - Petr Cech
The long-serving Chelsea stopper has been told he will be allowed to leave this summer having seen Thibaut Courtois claim the No 1 jersey at Stamford Bridge. They don't come much more experienced and at 32-years-old, the Czech Republic international still has many good years ahead of him.
2/12 GOALKEEPER - Iker Casillas
Whether the Real Madrid goalkeeper will be available has much to do with David De Gea's future. Should the Manchester United stopper move to the Bernabeu, Casillas could seek pastures new. The World Cup winner has long been linked with the Emirates.
3/12 GOALKEEPER - Hugo Lloris
If the north London derby wasn't bitter enough already, Lloris trading Tottenham for Arsenal would add yet another bone of contention between them. The Frenchman is among the best goalkeepers out there and the continued absence of Champions League football at White Hart Lane would be enough for him to push for a summer move.
4/12 CENTRE-BACK - Ron Vlaar
After reaching the FA Cup final, Vlaar suggested he could yet remain at Aston Villa. But once the excitement has died down, the out-of-contract centre-back may opt to move and Arsenal could do far worse.
5/12 CENTRE-BACK - Virgil van Dijk
The Celtic centre-back continues to impress in Scotland and is being monitored by a number of clubs. Among them is Arsenal, who reportedly made enquiries about the 23-year-old before signing Gabriel Paulista in January. John Hartson said of the Dutchman: 'Is he top notch? Is he as good as the Laurent Koscielny's of this world? I think he is. I think he is a top-six Premier League player. I really do.'
6/12 LEFT-BACK - Jose Luis Gaya
Arsenal have reportedly been watching the 19-year-old Spaniard throughout the season and are readying a bid for this summer. The defender is said to have rejected a new contract at Valencia, giving the Gunners hope of completing a £13.6m deal.
7/12 HOLDING MIDFIELDER - Sami Khedira
The World Cup winner will be a free agent at the end of the season and having come close to joining Arsenal last summer, reportedly remains on Arsene Wenger's radar. There will be no shortage of suitors for the Real Madrid player.
8/12 HOLDING MIDFIELDER - Morgan Schneiderlin
The Southampton midfielder has made no secret of his desire to move to a Champions League club and Arsenal would be a suitable fit for the France international. Having resisted last summer, it seems unlikely Saints will be able to keep serious bidders at bay again.
9/12 HOLDING MIDFIELDER - Victor Wanyama
An alternative to Schneiderlin is his Southampton team-mate Wanyama. The Gunners were reportedly in the mix when the Kenyan moved to St Mary's from Celtic a couple of years ago.
10/12 STRIKER - Edinson Cavani
Thierry Henry has suggested Olivier Giroud is not the striker to lead Arsenal to the title - so could Cavani? The Uruguay international has been linked with Arsenal for years and there are rumours PSG could be willing to let him leave this summer.
11/12 STRIKER - Gonzalo Higuain
The Argentina international was meant to be on the verge of joining the Gunners a couple of years ago before eventually ending up at Napoli. The 27-year-old could be on the move again with reports that his current club are prepared to sell in order to reinvest his fee in the squad.
12/12 STRIKER - Paulo Dybala
An alternative Argentinian would be Dybala, the 21-year-old who has enjoyed a breakthrough season with Palermo. A host of clubs are on the trail and Arsenal won't find he comes cheap. More of a gamble than the other options here.
Wenger, though, believes Arsenal can lay down a marker for the challenges ahead next season with another strong performance in Manchester, having also beaten City away earlier in the campaign.
"You expect a game of quality first and we want to bounce back from our defeat against Swansea by putting in a good performance in straight away, and getting a good result out of that," Wenger said.
"Any result will be a positive result. A draw or a win would be great for us."
Wenger, who confirmed former United striker Danny Welbeck was expected to miss Sunday's game through injury, continued: "First of all we can mathematically put a distance between them and us in the top four and basically secure the top three.
"Also, we can make a symbolic statement because we won over there in the FA Cup, so to reproduce that would be psychologically important.
"(We can show) that we can beat Manchester United away from home, that we have won away from home [again].
"Overall our recent away form has been very strong and that is always a sign of a team who is in progress."
The Frenchman added: "It is not especially a message to anybody, (but) to do it again would convince us more that we have the strength and can be even stronger next season.
"In the recent years it was a difficult ground for us and that is what we want to show, that we have made progress."
Arsenal have needed to qualify for the Champions League in three of the past four seasons.
Wenger is in no doubt of what it means to avoid another unsettled build-up to the new domestic campaign - which kicks off again at the start of August.
"It is very important for your season preparations to not have that kind of stress over your head from the first day you start again - it is vital," he said.
"We know what it means and we know it is always tricky because you can play against teams who are in the middle of their championship when you are in preparation.
"The consequences are always dramatic if you don't qualify."
Wenger is expected to strengthen the Arsenal squad in the summer, and has been linked with a move for Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, who is expected to leave Stamford Bridge.
The Gunners boss, though, played down suggestions any move was imminent.
"We are not interested in anybody at the moment," he said.
Asked if he would want to sign Cech if the player was available, Wenger replied: "I don't deal with the 'if'."
Pressed as to whether he felt Arsenal needed a goalkeeper like Cech, Wenger answered: "We have world-class goalkeepers - we have got three."
Captain Mikel Arteta is still not match fit, but is expected to agree a contract extension for next season.
"It is possible, yes," Wenger confirmed.