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Paul Merson makes prediction about where Arsenal can finish this season


Paul Merson makes prediction about where Arsenal can finish this season

Arsenal can “have a chance” to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season, according to Paul Merson, if they keep their key players fit.

The north London side received a lot of praise for their dominant performance in Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham, which they won 3-1 to make it three wins in a row in the Premier League.

Both Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka impressed and scored, as did striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The result came as a relief for the Gunners after a stuttering start to the season, with Mikel Arteta’s side losing their first three games in the Premier League.

Arsenal will travel to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday evening in an attempt to make it four wins in a row in the Premier League.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson believes that game will provide the Gunners with an opportunity to demonstrate that they can compete for Champions League qualification this season.

“If Arsenal keep those players fit and they play every week, they would have a chance of getting in the top four and cause problems,” Merson told Sky Sports. “They have no Europe this season, so will have time to recover and work on the team.

“But this is Arsenal though and has been since they last won the league in 2004, since when they have never really looked like winning the league.

“The game on Sunday was their bread and butter, but if they win away at Brighton on Saturday, then I will sit up. But if we talk next week and they have lost at the Amex, I would not be shocked. And that is the problem, they need to get a run of games together.

“This is a good XI, but if they get injuries, they are going to struggle as there is not much after that. But from what I’ve seen the last few weeks, fair play to them.

“But how long with Thomas Partey be fit for? How long before Granit Xhaka gets five bookings and misses a game? And then an injury at centre back. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was closing down from the front and setting an example, but where has that been?”

The former midfielder continued: “They have set themselves a yardstick now, they’ve put the bar there, now good teams stay at that level. I did not expect them to lose to Tottenham at all, as they have been very fortunate in their results so far.

“Mikel Arteta had a lot of injuries at the start of the season and what I liked about him was he went to Burnley with a very attacking team, under pressure, and he took a chance, got the ball down when they had it and played. And he absolutely produced in that game and they were brilliant when everyone thought they would be bullied.”

Arsenal have not finished in the top four of the Premier League since the 2015-16 season, when they finished second to champions Leicester City.

Following Saturday’s trip to the south coast, Arsenal’s next three Premier League games will be against Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, and Leicester City.


Paul Merson makes prediction about where Arsenal can finish this season

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