Shane Duffy's first match as Albion's player of the season will be against his striker of the season.

The Irishman faces Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, the choice of his fellow professionals in the PFA Premier League team of the year, at the Amex on the final day.

Before that at the Emirates on Sunday, he will be up against Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Argus: The Arsenal marksman is in the race for the golden boot, two behind 21-goal Mo Salah, one adrift of Aguero and Sadio Mane.

Salah's goal in each game against Albion has been matched by relegated Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic, a handful for Duffy and partner Lewis Dunk and a past target many would like the Seagulls to sign if they can afford him.

Strikers were a topic during the awards night at the Amex on Sunday, where Duffy was a clearcut winner of the main prize.

He told The Argus: "We were having that conversation. I was sitting at the table and everyone kept mentioning Mitrovic.

The Argus: "Yes, he was tough, but Aubameyang's got that class.

"If he turns up and gets it played to him he will punish not even us, top six teams in the world.

"It's one to be excited about. I love playing against them. For me he is the best striker I have played against in the league this year. Hopefully I can get the better of it."

Aubameyang gave Arsenal an early lead in the 1-1 draw against Albion at the Amex on Boxing Day.

Unai Emery's visitors were fifth then, two points behind Chelsea occupying the last Champions League qualification spot.

The Gunners are in exactly the same situation now after a hat-trick of defeats against Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester, conceding three goals each time.

They have the added distraction of Thursday night's first leg of the Europa League semi-final at home to one of Emery's former clubs Valencia.

Duffy believes Albion can approach the task with confidence after running Arsenal's North London neighbours so close in their last away game.

The Argus: He said: "We've got no fear of going there. People might have criticised the way we have played away from home a little bit.

"I think it's strong. Even at Tottenham, who have got world class players, they found it hard to break us down. We'll probably have the same game plan.

"They know it's going to be tough. They are not going to get spaces in the way they want to play. We know we've got two strikers, me and Dunky if we play, Lacazette and Aubameyang. We can't take our eyes off it."

While Arsenal have been treading water in table terms since the Boxing Day clash, Albion have slowly but surely been sinking, from 13th then to 17th now after three wins in 17 games in the intervening period, one of those three days later against Duffy's old club Everton.

Duffy, attempting to put a finger on what has gone wrong, admitted: "I don't know. I know the mentality hasn't changed, because we speak a lot.

"We've got a strong group. We've got the characters and we've got a manager that never gets too high or too low.

"I think everyone speaks about that. Even when we lose 5-0 to Bournemouth he never gets too low or disappointed and if we had beaten Bournemouth 5-0 he'd never get too high.

"That's one of the things we've got to take. We know personally and individually we haven't been good enough in the second half of the season.

"It's one we know that if we take the first half of the season into the second half, we can have a successful season."

Which division Albion will be in next season has yet to be determined. They could be safe by the time they kick-off at Arsenal, or Cardiff could have closed the gap back to within one point with one game to go for them, at Manchester United, if they win at home to Crystal Palace.

Duffy does not mind if survival is sealed in Wales on Saturday or North London on Sunday.

"It doesn't matter," he said. "Of course, we would be proud to do it ourselves. We want to feel like we've earned the right to stay in this league.

"Probably in the first six months we felt we earned the right to stay in it. We've had a bad second half of the season and it can happen.

"I always remember Liam Rosenior saying to me the second season is always the toughest and you won't realise it until you are in it.

"It is, it's tough. Even when you are in this bad spell - it's not as if we have got bad players, it's just that little momentum.

"Even when we were winning games, three earlier on (West Ham, Newcastle, Wolves) we probably didn't deserve to win any of them but we won them.

"At the moment we're not. The thing is to stay in this league and kick on next season."