Paul Merson doubles down on surprising Arsenal prediction ahead of Brighton clash



Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has reiterated that his old side could finish in the top four this season.

The Gunners have failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League in each of the last five seasons, a remarkable decline considering they were in the competition 19 years in a row under Arsene Wenger’s tutelage.

However, Merson claimed that the Gunners could finish in the coveted top four spots after their win over local rivals Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday, a surprising prediction given they have finished eighth in the Premier League in each of the last two campaigns.

“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 wrote in his Sky Sports column. “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.

He continued: “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.”

Now, the Englishman has doubled down on his claim, stating that Mikel Arteta’s side still have a chance of climbing up the table after their recent impressive run of form.

Merson, a pundit on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday programme, was asked if Aston Villa would finish above Arsenal this season, to which the ex-Gunner replied: “No, Arsenal might finish in the top four yet.”





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